Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Preparing for Cold Nights

with one comment

There is always something very satisfying about giving your house a good clean through.  I get that same feeling at the end of a growing season once I have cut down the perennials, pulled out the annuals and raked up the debris in my gardens.  And while I am in NO WAY ready for the long months of winter, I am getting kind of antsy to start my end of season shutdown routine at the Arboretum.  After last week’s dreary weather, I thought I would start pulling annuals this week … but much to my (happy) surprise, we have a gorgeous week ahead of us!

But the snow won’t stay away forever and we have to get started in order to be done by November.  One of the first tasks I do each fall is start pulling our containers.  I often leave a few out in key locations (and poke in a few mums for one last shot of color) and then pull the rest. 

I often use tropical plants in my containers because they perform well throughout the summer and add exotic on the cheap.  They are also extremely easy to overwinter and reuse the next summer!  I’m going to try to overwinter two palm and two rubber trees this year.


I decided to pull two containers in the Rose Garden this morning since the annuals were starting to look a bit ratty.  The containers were filled with a palm tree, coleus ‘Saturn’ and sweet potato vine ‘Blackie.’  It took a bit of muscle to get the annuals out of the container and I had to make sure to pull the tubers of the potato vine (middle photo).  I then repotted the palm in a smaller, terracotta pot that can easily be moved inside once the night temperatures drop.  It is much easier to repot now and be ready for the colder night temperatures than to be rushing the afternoon before our first frost!

Have you started cleaning out your gardens yet?  If you have any helpful tips for quicker (and easier) fall clean-up, please pass along!

See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

September 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hi Mollie,
    I have changed the date of the Exchange garden clean up to Friday Oct 8, 9:00 so we do not conflict with week end activities.


    Richard King

    October 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm

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