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Put My Lilac in Large Container in Garage ....

Posted by motherjan z5 N.E. OHIO ( on
Sun, Sep 4, 11 at 10:41

this winter? It has truly grown beautifully and I don't want to lose it. I am in zone 5 and we get very cold weather. Should I set it on a piece of wood and put it in my garage (not heated.) on the floor? Will it need water all winter, and if so, how often and how much? OR, would it help to put it on top of a freezer? (I don't think so.) Help, as I can't wait for it to bloom next spring.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Put My Lilac in Large Container in Garage ....

Is this the kind of lilac that would survive your winter if they were in the ground? How about digging a hole in your yard in a sheltered area close to your house and placing the pot in the hole? I've never grown lilacs in containers, but I've grown other perennials in containers, and when they are the kind that could survive in the ground in my area, they usually die in a container because the roots freeze.

RE: Put My Lilac in Large Container in Garage ....

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 4, 11 at 15:11

It would help to know which lilac (Syringa ..... what species/cultivar?) you're talking about. Most, but not all are very cold-hardy, perhaps to the degree that protection might not be necessary, though Robin's suggestion of burying the plant, pot & all, next to the foundation of a heated building is a very good way to over-winter our potted plants hardy to our zone or even a zone or two WARMER.

The keys to getting lilacs to do well in containers are A) proper root maintenance (critical) B) pruning at the right time and using an appropriate maintenance pruning method if the plant grows in clump form (very important to your satisfaction with bloom profusion & maintaining the plant at a manageable size) C) Limiting the amount of N the plant receives. Ultimately, something in a 2:1:2 ratio would be appropriate/helpful, but how much N the plant gets is ultimately the grower's responsibility and is something quite apart from fertilizer ratios. Where Syringa is concerned, too much N produces lots of lush foliage, normally at the expense of bloom profusion.


RE: Put My Lilac in Large Container in Garage ....

Thank you both for your information and help, but I really don't have
a place by the house that wouldn't get a strong north/west wind all winter.
That's why I thought perhaps putting it in a cold garage would work. Yes, it
is a lilac that could be put in the ground and it is doing so very well in the very large container. I just planted it this spring. So no one thinks I could put it in the garage, eh?

RE: Put My Lilac in Large Container in Garage ....

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 10, 11 at 21:07

I was waiting for an ID before offering suggestions; but yes, the garage is a very good place to over-winter a lilac.


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