I grew perennials in pots this summer on our deck. Can I winter them in the pots so they will flower next year? Should I put them in a shed or protect them underneath my deck? The flowers are yellow and white yarrows, orchid daisies, and echinacea. I live in central Mass. so we have very cold winters. Thank you for your time and advice. Greatly appreciated. Joyce
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

In central Mass. it is too cold in the winter for perennials  to survive in pots, unless the containers are very large with a lot of soil. You would be wise to bring them into a cold garage, shed, or barn, once they have died down. Before you bring them in, clean off any old stems and foliage and give them a light watering. Then put them where they may get frosted but it is not intensely cold so that the pots freeze completely solid. Alternatively you can plunge or sink the pots in leaves or compost underneath your deck to winter over. From time to time through the winter check them for damage from mice or other critters and keep the soil just barely moist. As soon as the days start to lengthen, probably in late February or early March, the pots can be brought outdoors and although there will still be cold weather they should start into growth on a normal schedule.

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