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Winter Care Perennials in Containers

I grew two Gaura and one perennial lobelia plants in a 1/2 oak whiskey barrel. I assume that the plants will not survive a zone 5 winter in the barrel. So how do I handle them for winter?

You are right. Gaura are not reliably hardy in when growing in the ground in zone 5 gardens. I treat Gaura as an annual. The summer long bloom makes it worth the investment. Perennial lobelia is hardy in zones 3 to 9 and may survive. Provide extra protection to increase your odds of success. Move the barrel to a sheltered corner of an unheated garage. Surround the barrel with bags of potting mix or other items in the garage to provide a bit of extra insulation. Water the container whenever the soil is dry and not frozen. Or try moving the barrel to a protected location outside and insulate the barrel with bales of straw. A third option is to plant the perennials in the garden. Once the ground freezes, mulch the plants with evergreen boughs or straw.


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