overwintering patio plants

Asked September 15, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

I have three patio peaches that my friend gave me. She said she kept them on her porch in the summer and in the winter she put them in her garage next to the window. Should I put them in my garage before or after they loose their leaves? They also need bigger pots. Should I place them in bigger pots before or after they loose their leaves? Thank you

Fayette County Pennsylvania

1 Response

I have patio plants that I overwinter in cold frames next to my house. With the extremely low temperatures of the last two winters, I lost some plants to root freeze. The garage is a good choice if the temperatures don't drop below freezing in the garage. If they do, you will need to use insulation around the pots to keep the roots safe (as I will do for my plants this winter).
I would stop watering and definitely not fertilize a week before you are ready to take them inside. The plants will go dormant over the winter just as perennials do in the garden. When you bring them out in the spring and begin to see new growth, that is when I would re-pot any that are pot bound. When you re-pot, use some good quality compost or hummus because the old soil will be depleted of nutrients after the current growing season. You can examine the plants for damaged parts and remove any insect nests or eggs that might be there. Even though the top growth will die back in the case of non-woody ornamentals or herbs, insect eggs can drop into the soil where you won't see them. Good luck with your project. I'm on my fifth winter with my potted tarragon and oregano. It's a great feeling to see the first shoots appear in the spring.