Potted Perennials - to plant, or not to plant, before winter


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I have a bunch of perennials that I purchased this summer. They’re likely all root bound by now, and I know some of them have rooted themselves in the ground through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. At this point I’m not sure if it would be better to try and get the plants in the ground before winter, or leave them in their pots, and deal with them in the spring. I would really appreciate some expert advice on this as I am just a beginner. I live in zone 7a along the New Jersey shore. The plants include hosta, catmint, lavender, Japanese azalea, dianthus, rose, delphinium, polemonium, bee balm, rhododendron, Echinacea, heuchera and bleeding heart.
 
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alp

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Also, make sure you tease the root balls a bit and put them in free draining moist soil. If you are worried about the cold weather, you could gently cut off the bottom if it is a plastic pot and put the whole pot in a bigger pot with good quality compost and huddle them together on concrete ground, near the wall of the house which get the most sunlight and heat and let the retained heat keep them warm. Add fresh ericaceous compost to your azaleas and rhodos. If it gets really cold, you could drape a fleece blanket over them. Most important is to huddle them together in the warmest part of the garden, next to a wall which will release heat at night. Next spring, you could repot the whole thing into proper free-draining moist soil. Free range is better than being caged!
 
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your not quite saying where in USA you are from. but I just put three new ones in Saturday. they are better to be in the ground than in a pot through the winter.
 
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A thick covering of compost should make an ideal spring. The frost depth is key. Here it is 1/2 in the coldest times. I mean outside our zone cold. Our regular zone is zero frost depth, so be conservative.
 
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if you bought the correct plant for your zone. put it in the ground, some mulch around the base and walk away. I never worry about mine, right plant, right spot, and good to go.
 

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