HELP YOUR ALPINES SURVIVE WINTER
Alpines hate our cold, wet winters and need shelter to see them through, says Ruth
They hate our soggy, wet winters and need shelter
My alpine trough and rockery have flourished this year, with plants putting on good growth and flowering for a considerable length of time.
Although alpines are tough little plants built to survive inhospitable altitudes and conditions, they find our cold, wet winters something of a trial.
Many of them are low growing so are easily smothered by fallen leaves and by the weeds that continue to grow whenever the weather is warm enough. They also hate sitting in soggy soil.
I have protected my trough from the worst of winter’s elements by moving it underneath a wooden bench in a sheltered area of the patio. This is an ideal site because it has good ventilation and some rainwater can still get to the plants. However, if conditions become extremely adverse, I can place a sheet of plastic or bubblewrap over the bench to protect and insulate the plants underneath.
Tender succulents such as echevarias will not survive frosts and constant wet, so need to be lifted and overwintered in pots of grit so the roots don’t rot while the plants are dormant.
Hardier alpines can be left in situ, but it is worth removing their dead flowers and damaged foliage to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Check them regularly and remove wet fallen leaves that can smother and cause other foliage to rot. If extremely
harsh conditions are forecast, protect plants with a layer of fleece or a sheet of rigid plastic raised on bricks, weighed down to prevent it being blown away.
Remove dead flowers and damaged foliage Move your alpine trough somewhere sheltered