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Winter flowers/plants in Kentucky

Marcel Asked

What plants or flowers will grow outdoors on my patio in the winter in Richmond, Kentucky?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Marcel: There are several options for container planting on your patio during the winter months. It is nice to look out and see something with color during our gray winters. Plant choice will depend on hardiness, available sunlight, and container size. Choose a hardy evergreen and keep in mind the mature size as well as light requirements. Richmond, Kentucky is in USDA hardiness zone 6b. It is not a bad idea to choose plants that are even more cold hardy than where you are gardening. Here are a few options to consider: boxwood, taxus (yew), evergreen azaleas, chamaecyparis, schip laurel, evergreen/winterberry hollies, aucuba, and cryptomeria. Visit your local garden center to see what you like best. As with any container planting, make sure there are drainage holes. Container grown plants are more likely to suffer from winter damage because they are not as protected as those with roots in the ground. Enclosed patios can offer protection and pot feet help air circulate under the container. A layer of mulch on top of the soil will help insulate the planting during the cold winter months.  Evergreen cuttings combined with berries and pinecones can also be used to make winter arrangements. When spring arrives, the cuttings can be removed from the soil and the container is ready for a fresh planting. I hope this gives you some ideas.

Angie Oakley

Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener

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