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July 13, 2014 / Leslie

Sunday in the Garden: Overwintering Annuals


I have a medium size yard with lots of garden areas and a variety of plants. I created the one in
the photo above about five years ago. Many of the plants are perennials that return on their own each spring; some are annuals that self-seed and others are tender annuals, plants native to warmer climates that will not survive a hard freeze or return after the winter.

Planning Ahead

I know it’s only July, but now is the time to begin planning to save some of the annuals over the winter. When the weather channel predicts a frost, it’s too late. I learned how to do this by trial and error. I can vividly remember hauling plants into the cold, dark garage on late autumn nights with a flashlight in one hand, a pot in the other, trying to save them. Other times I dragged them into the laundry room only to be invaded by bugs several days later. Yup, the warmth woke up the bugs hiding in the dirt!

Now I plan ahead, decide what I’m going to save, when to re-pot it, where it will go in my house, etc. I often rely on my memory, look in my notes, search the web or refer to one of my garden books when I need information.

Book Spotlight ~ Saving Container Plants

SavingContainerPlantsOverwintering Techniques for Keeping Tender Plants Alive Year after Year

by Brian McGowan, Alice McGowan
A Storey Basics® Title
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Format: Paperback | 128 pages | Color Illustrations

Publisher’s Synopsis:
Enjoy your favorite container plants year after year! From geraniums to fuschia and beyond, many container plants can be overwintered and enjoyed again the next season. This Storey Basics guide offers simple techniques for overwintering a variety of common tender perennial plants, based on what kind of dormancy the plants go through in their native environment. You can easily overwinter most plants with few to no pest problems, simply by giving them the dormancy conditions they need. Includes a plant-by-plant guide for quick reference.

You don’t need a ‘green thumb’ to overwinter plants

Saving Container Plants is a how-to guide for saving those beautiful annuals that require a moderate climate year-round, and won’t survive a cold winter outdoors. It explains how to overwinter these plants and presents the information in a clear and easy to understand format. This is a basic guide, perfect for gardeners new to the overwintering process. It is filled with detailed information and how-to guides that will save the novice from making some avoidable mistakes. Like bringing bugs in the laundry room.

No two plants are the same, nor do they require exactly the same indoor preparation and growing conditions. There is a handy reference guide at the end of the book with quick tips for a large variety of common plants, something even experienced gardeners will find useful.

Replacing annuals every year by purchasing new ones at the garden center can get expensive. If you’re tired of losing favorite plants to the cold weather, and then having to spend money every year to replace them, try overwintering a few of them.

Source: Review copy provided as an eGalley by Storey Publishing.
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Jul 13 2014 9:33 am

    Your garden is lovely!!


    • Leslie / Jul 13 2014 10:07 am

      Thanks! All the rain we have been getting has helped a lot.


  2. acuriousgal / Jul 13 2014 10:13 am

    I have never over wintered my plants…think off all the money I could have saved. Thanks, Leslie….as you can see, I’m not to great at thus gardening thing….but I’m learning.


    • Leslie / Jul 13 2014 10:29 am

      It’s taken me years and years to get my gardens the way I want them and I’m still changing them around. Never get discouraged. There’s always next year!


      • acuriousgal / Jul 13 2014 11:29 am

        I love your site, truly👍👍


  3. Beth Hoffman / Jul 13 2014 10:21 am

    Beautiful, beautiful!


  4. cindy knoke / Jul 13 2014 12:19 pm

    Lovely garden~


  5. Sue / Jul 13 2014 12:48 pm

    Good idea! I’m still trying to coax the perennials out of their winter lethargy 🙂


  6. Mary / Jul 13 2014 5:12 pm

    Bet you love to spend time out there. I’m basically a potted geranium gardener but I do appreciate lovely gardens.


  7. diane / Jul 13 2014 6:46 pm

    Beautiful — no wonder the birds love your place.


  8. sagustocox / Jul 14 2014 9:36 am

    what a lovely garden! And what a great find for saving those plants! I had a surprise from last winter. some inpatients I planted in the backyard survived all winter OUTSIDE and renewed their blooms this spring.


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