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Botanic Garden > Question and Answer > Plant Species > Perennials > Winterizing potted shrubs

Winterizing potted shrubs

2016/8/3 18:18:38

Question
Dear Courtney,

This year, I potted a 3' arborvitae in a 5 gallon pot, and a green and yellow euonymous in a 3 gallon pot. I live in Freehold, NJ 07728 which I think is Zone 7, but I'm not sure.

My question is, what do I do with these potted shrubs so that they will survive the winter? Will they be all right in my garage? It's not heated, but it will protect them from the elements. I also potted a couple of smaller shrubs from the juniper family, and the owner of the local nursery told me that I'd have to put them in the ground if I wanted them to survive the winter. I can't put any of these shrubs in the ground. What do you think? Also, should they be watered during the winter, and how much.

Thanks very much.

Anthony Cipriano

Answer
Hi Anthony. Your plants sound beautiful. For all of them, your best bet is to move them into the garage. You're lucky to have it. Container plants get much much colder than plants in the ground. If you have the space, move them in and water them every four weeks or so. They won't need much water at all. If you can't fit them all inside, move them close to the house and mulch around the pots. The best thing is to buy several bales of hay (which should be on sale or free now that they're not needed for Halloween decorations) and surround the pots with the whole bales. To keep the plants from drying out, loosely wrap them in burlap or a similar material. Old bedsheets would be okay. You'll need to water these un-garaged plants more often than the ones in the garage.

Good luck!

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