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Container Gardening

Q.How do I care for a potted tree in the winter?

Zone 6A | caseytheo added on April 21, 2012 | Answered

I am creating a potted garden on a balcony. Winters in Pittsburgh can get into the single digits and wind chills well below zero, especially on a high rise balcony. What should I do with my potted trees durring the winter time? Should I plan on trying to bring them inside? If not do they still need to be watered durring the winter? Do they require some sort of dormancy? Thank you!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 23, 2012

It depends on the kind of tree you use in the container whether they will need to come in or not. If you plant something that is for your zone or higher, then it will need to be brought in for the winter. If you choose one that can survive in zones lower than your own, than it can stay out.

If you have a plant that can stay outdoors in containers, it is still a good idea to store it near a wall and cover the plant with burlap or a sheet to help protect it from drying winter winds.

If it needs to come indoors, how you store it indoors and if it needs dormancy will greatly depend on what you grow.

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