February in TN is notorious for delivering extreme cold temperatures with surprisingly warm days intermingled. This can be very stressful not only to established plants, but to late summer/fall purchases that never made it into the ground. If you are like me, sometimes I just can’t resist that purchase even if I know there is NO WAY I will have time to find it’s forever home before winter.
Take a few precautions with these guys to make sure the fluctuating weather and drastic drops in temperature do not have negative effects. Find a protected place for them to spend the winter. Consider the aspect of your home or other structures on your property. Southern exposure can stave off cold northern winds and provide the most sun to those plants during winter’s short days. Brick homes or foundations can generate a good bit of heat in the winter and help to protect during those polar vortex periods. Mulching the pots generously with leaves or mulch has an insulating effect and will be beneficial as well. Another option could be simply digging a hole in the ground and placing the pot in the hole then covering with mulch/leaves. This IS NOT the plants forever home, but can help with insulation and moisture retention throughout the winter! (photo credits: Jason Reeves, The University of Tennessee)