Lilac Bush

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GraZZmaZter, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    A friend gave us a Lilac Bush but its in a 3 gallon pot. We may be moving soon so would this plant be alright just leaving it in the pot? Where should we keep it? Lady said it would be fine outdoors all winter but wont it freeze? (not planted so roots would not be below frost line). The other 2 options are keeping it on our porch which is covered or should we bring it inside for the winter? Help!!! Thanks!! :)
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    The roots don't have to be below the frost line, but you don't want it sitting above ground in the pot. You need to "heel in" the plant. You can leave it in the pot, but either dig a hole and bury the pot, or mound mulch up around the pot to insulate it against fast changes from freeze to thaw. In the ground is better. Even plants with no leaves lose moisture in the winter, so make sure you water it right up until it freezes.

    You might want to google "heeling in".
  3. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 740

    Awesome!!! Thank you so much!!! :)
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    AGLA always has good advice. So I agree with what he said.

    But here's food for thought. Around here, nurseries keep plants in pots for years and years outside. Not even in greenhouses. Only the more sensitive plants are kept in greenhouses. Most of them, including lilacs, are kept in pots outdoors all winter long. And they come back just fine the next spring and then they sell the plants to guys like me.

    It's probably safe to heel it in. But I think it would likely survive in the pot just fine too.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Jim, the rapid changes in freeze/thaw and evaporation has a negative impact on the plants in the north. We heel them in, as I understand it, so that the changes in temperature of the root ball is slowed and to keep the root ball from drying out.
  6. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    we "heeled in" (never heard that term before) all of the plants when I worked at a nursery. If we don't, in the spring a lot of plants will have frost burn (where a section of the plant is dead)

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