Seasonal Color Pots

beauty in small spaces

Brrr in Seattle!  My Container Garden Plants Are Flat!

Brrr in Seattle! My Container Garden Plants Are Flat!

You are probably wondering what’s happening with your container garden plantings during very cold weather.  The leaves of the plants are curling in and down, and some of the plants are even hanging over the sides of the pots—when they aren’t supposed to hang!

Don’t worry.  The plants are reacting naturally to the frigid temperatures.  Their leaves curl in order to protect the plants from losing more moisture in the dry air.  In addition, the “juice” in the leaves is actually less liquid, which contributes to the curling.  Once the weather warms up a bit the plants will return to normal.Rhodedendron sinogrande frost damage

Container Gardens in Winter:
Nevertheless, some container garden plants are going to be damaged by freezing and thawing, no matter how hardy they are.  You can see a picture of a frost-damaged Rhodedendron sinogrande in a container garden right here.  The best idea is to wait until spring, or even early summer, and see how the plant recovers before giving up hope.  (It would also have been helpful if the writer of this blog had taken her own advice and covered it up with a blanket during the last freeze.  Yipes–and the cobbler’s children have no shoes, as they say….)

 Cold hardy Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'This next photo is of a shrub that is actually at its most beautiful during frigid temperatures, and is hardy in the Pacific Northwest:  Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof.’  The long, hanging “chandeliers” are its flowers.  It is magnificent for winter interest, although too big to be a suitable winter container plant.  Garrya elliptica ‘Evie’ also has notably long flowers and surpasses the straight species in that department.  It’s best to prune this plant as soon after flowering as you can so that you aren’t cutting off the flowers for the next winter season.