Here in Ohio, the weather is getting pretty cold. The chilly winds make me wish for summer, but in this state, we have to suffer through snow and ice for several months in order to be rewarded with Spring. I am not a snow lover, so I can’t wait to get to the warm stuff again.
I am asked the question about wintering hypertufa many times on the Facebook page or in our Hypertufa Gardener Group page, and so I felt it necessary to stress again that if a hypertufa planter or trough you have made is properly cured, it really will survive all that winter can dish out. But don’t let it sit with its base or bottom in water!
I am doing a little re-arranging of my containers this late fall. I have so many that are on the deck, I have decided to put a lot of them on the lower patio which is just below the deck. Well, not really below but just beyond the deck. I still want the hypertufa planters to be out in the rain and sleet and snow (since that is what technically “waters” the plants in winter), but I don’t want them to be frozen inside a puddle of ice during the winter. They will need to drain during this time.
If fact, in summer they should not stand in water, right? So the same goes for winter.
Standing Water Inside the Hypertufa Bowl?
During the winter season, I have gone outside and checked the garden during a sunny afternoon. I have found some bowls made from the hypertufa mixture and they are a frozen mass across the top of the plants. It appears that the icy & watery mix is an inch or two deep. But the little hens and chicks or coral carpet ( for instance) is happily content under its blanket of ice or snow. The color still is as bright and cheerful as it appears in the photos.
Just like other plants, I feel that the blanket of snow protects the plants from the harsh winds and some of that freeze/thaw cycle. If they are under an inch of snow, they don’t thaw and try to grow during a weird warm day. Just some of the ice melts.
In spring, they are alive and growing just like they were never frozen under the snow. Succulents are such wonderful plants. Maybe that’s why I love them so much. My Mom used to call them Live-Forevers and I guess they almost do.
These hardy plants do well in a hypertufa container. Don’t worry about bringing them inside or into a garage. They plants do best if they are left out in the exposed air of winter ( as long as the zone is appropriate.) The hypertufa just gets more and more aged and ancient looking and that is exactly how I want mine to look. My oldest ones are my most prized.
How do you feel about your old ones? They are great, aren’t they?