Overwintering Tender Perennials

(Question)

Hello,

I would appreciate some advice on how to over winter some perennials I am growing from seed this year.  The 2 that I am most concerned about is a Gaura called “Sparkle white” and a Salvia called “Victoria”.  They are hardy to zone 5 or 6 but this may be USDA and not our Canadian zones.  The seedlings for these 2 plants are in the ground already.  I was wondering how successful I would be if I dug them up after they died back to the ground in the fall and potted them up to be stored in my shed over the winter with some infrequent watering.  Would this work at all?  Or, is there a method for storing roots that I could try so these plants live to see a 2nd year.  I live in Brantford, which I think is 5b or 6a.  The location I have have these plants in is full sun, sandy soil and good drainage.

 

(Answer)

Thank you for your questions.

US Hardiness Zone 5 roughly converts to Canadian Hardiness Zone 6.  Our winters have been more severe lately, and as you know, you are located in Zone 5b – 6A.  

If you wish to try and overwinter these 2 plants, we would suggest planting them in sheltered locations, creating a wind break around the plants in the autumn using stakes & burlap, and then filling the enclosed space with a mulch such as shredded leaves, completely covering the plants once they have gone dormant.  This system creates a nice insulated home protected from the wind and frost.

Both these plants are usually recommended for use as annuals in our climate, for use in both containers or garden beds.

Best of luck.