I have four triple ball Eugenia topiaries that I need to overwinter. I live in zone 6B. Last year I brought them into the house and they died. That said, I simply do not have the room in my house to bring in four giant plants. As a result, I would like to overwinter them in my attached garage this year. My plan is to line them up in the garage along the side of the house. It will be the warmest there. I also have three windows so they will get light. I am wondering if they will go dormant and what kind of watering they will require. I bring lots of other plants into my garage (like my boxwood) and I only water them monthly. Should I follow the same protocol for these? I have had lots of success white overwintering all of my other plants so I am hoping for the best. The attached photo shows two of them in the far left corner.
Thank you for your inquiry, and for referring to your plant hardiness zone. For many readers who may not be familiar with the Ontario designations, or as a refresher, please review HERE for an interesting, detailed response earlier published by TMG.
You are clearly well aware of many of the requirements for over-wintering evergreens in our Toronto region. That said, Eugenia topiaries (like their cousins the myrtus ‘myrtle’ topiaries, often sold in nurseries and grocery stores as indoor plants), are not at all winter hardy in our Toronto region. The drying effects of our wintry winds will assuredly cause severe plant damage. Likewise, as you mentioned, your earlier Eugenia topiaries unfortunately did not survive, when brought indoors: the home air heating system, shortage of sunshine, and lack of water to the root systems, all, or in part, may have contributed to the demise of your plants.
When relocated to your garage, your current Eugenia topiaries will require the basic cultural considerations:
- Oxygen + air circulation: ensure there will be plenty of circulating air in the garage space, and take care not to place your plants too closely together.
- Air temperature: ” line them up in the garage along the side of the house. It will be the warmest there.” Take care the air is not too hot or dry.
- Light: “I also have three windows so they will get light.” You may wish to rotate your plants, to ensure they reach receive ample light.
- Growing medium: assume you will keep them in the existing pots; your pots appear to be large enough with ample product for the root systems. Do not fertilize at this time, as the plants will need to just maintain headway with existing leaves and root systems.
- Water: “I bring lots of other plants into my garage (like my boxwood) and I only water them monthly. Should I follow the same protocol for these?” Yes: water less, a good drink monthly, and let dry out in between watering. Have a nice large saucer under each pot.
All in all, your plants appear to be robust, well-potted, with dark green leaves and no significant damage. This bodes well for their winter holiday for the next several months. All the best!