Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
Now that Labor Day is on the horizon, our gardening days are numbered.
I looked wistfully at my patio pots last night, knowing that I'll have just a few more weekends of treating my deck like an outdoor living room filled with lush blooms and foliage.
There are a lot of tropicals in my pots, and usually I treat them like annuals -- enjoying them for the summer, saying goodbye in the fall, then starting from scratch the next spring.
But in this year of counting my pennies, that seems wasteful. Plus, I have some really cool plants this year that I'd love to enjoy for another growing season.
I've never tried overwintering tropicals -- except for a couple of ponytail ferns that I brought inside and treated like houseplants a few years back. They survived the season, but they weren't happy about it. After spending six months in my bedroom, they were small and straggly, and they never quite recovered.
But I've never tried cutting tropicals back, letting them go dormant and wintering the bulbs. This year I have a few black cannas that definitely seem worth the effort. The jury is still out on my tibouchina grandiflora (princess flower), which is supposed to bloom in August but so far hasn't produced a single bloom. I'm a little annoyed with it, at this point. But it still has a few weeks to redeem itself.
What about you? Do you overwinter any of your plants? What's worth the effort? And how has it worked?
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