Effing frost?

All potted up...

Had a little scare yesterday that led to a major plant evacuation operation last night. Someone posted a little Boston Globe piece on Facebook that claimed a FROST might be coming our way. Yikes! Given all my sweet little plans for indoor Coleus farming this winter, I did NOT want to lose them. Wasn’t too crazy about losing my begonias yet, either, or the Impatiens or Lobelia… and since I am still very much in the learning phase about wintering some of these guys over and/or propagating, I wasn’t even quite sure yet what I needed to do with them.

On September 16, so NOT ready for frost! (I am really happy I documented everything for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day yesterday, since my Coleus garden is all dug up now.)

Anyway, the possibility of frost sent me into a frenzy of activity… quickly digging up Coleus and Begonias and bringing them into the basement, moving all my planters and hanging baskets inside, moving the succulents and anthurium in off the patio…

In the bunker

This might all sound crazy paranoid, but I’d recently read a tragic tale online of this lady trying to propagate her frost-bit prized Coleus (unsuccessfully)… and I also lost a really pretty houseplant last year through inattention to frost. (It was left on the patio and literally just turned crispy overnight. Really sad!) I did not want this to be me. Again.

I also made a quick trip to Loew’s to pick up a bunch of terra cotta pots to nurture my little (hopefully thriving) houseplants this winter, as well as some much-needed extra potting soil and perlite (recommended for rooting Coleus).

Whew! And of course, after all that, the frost did not come. It was chilly, probably got down into the 40s again for the second night in a row. And it’s supposed to be cold off and on for a few days. But nothing looks frost-bit outside and it’s beautiful and sunny today, so I’ve moved all the potted plants back outside for some sun.

Frankly, it’s OK. While I don’t relish the onset of frost, this little scare jolted me, strangely, into a more positive mindset about the coming season. (The onset of fall was kind of depressing me, I’m not going to lie.) It’s time to accept the inevitable and “put the garden to bed,” as my best friend said recently. It’s time for planning and bulb-planting and compost-making. And now I can set up my indoor winter Coleus farm operation. I am going to try three suggestions I’ve read about for rooting: perlite, water and regular potting soil. I am sure you all will hear far too much about what works best… or doesn’t.

To get in the spirit, I threw the shoots of a branch that fell off one plant into a glass of water. They’re probably too short, but I figured, what the hell? It’s on!


About plantkiller

Paysha Rhone is a wife, mother, former-journalist-turned-PR-maven and bad mamajama killing plants in the Victorian splendor of Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
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6 Responses to Effing frost?

  1. Nicole says:

    Funny thing in AZ when we have frost everyone covers their plants with sheets, LOL! We don’t, but have not lost anything, yet…..

    • plantkiller says:

      I read about that but thought it would be extreme, haha!
      Here, frost/snow kicks in and stays until March or so, so it’s just a fact of life. Acceptance… things are lost… šŸ˜¦
      I imagine you guys just garden year-round in AZ, that would be so awesome!

  2. Kristen says:

    omg you have lobelia?? which one- cardinalis (red), or siphilitica (blue)? The red one is part of my thesis research šŸ™‚

    • plantkiller says:

      Yes! I have a white variety, but interestingly, a few of the petals have a little lavender part/tinge to them. Like they’re trying to go hybrid or something!
      I have blue too, in the same planter and in a pot, but it’s not really blooming anymore. Leaves are still looking good though!
      I totally almost killed this plant and then brought it back to life and bloom. I am very proud of it!
      What is your thesis on and where you going to school? Going for that doctorate? Wow! šŸ™‚

  3. Nicole says:

    The depths of your garden hobby-making are becoming apparent to me. I love our gardens in spring, and find their color in summer a welcome sight. But truly by fall, I’m ready to hang it up for the year. Let it all die. One less thing to take care of!

  4. plantkiller says:

    No way! I need things to obsess about/play with all winter, when it’s all sad outside! Also, I need a lot MORE plants, I discovered this summer. So… given my budget… that means some green-housing this winter!

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