Question of the Week Number 1: November 9, 2017

“Neil, should I trim my hibiscus and bougainvillea plants back before I put them into the garage for the winter?”

Left photo: Hibiscus — Right photo: Bougainvillea

Trim now? Into garage?
Yes, you should trim them before you bring them into protection for the winter. However, I’m going to take my annual stand against putting plants into the garage. It usually turns out to be a huge disappointment.

Garages are too cold and too dark in most cases. Plants that are imprisoned there start going downhill almost immediately, and by the time spring arrives they are bare, weak and lethargic. You’re better off just buying new, vigorous plants in the spring.

Continued Below


I’d make two exceptions to that commentary. First, if you have an unusually bright garage, perhaps it would be adequate. Second, if you’re in the southern half of the state, perhaps you’d be able to put the plants on plant dollies and shuttle them in and out during mild spells.

Best option of all: maybe this is the year you ask Santa for a greenhouse. All these headaches will be behind you!

Posted by Neil Sperry
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