I’m beginning to wonder if The Groundhog should be stripped of his title. Has Punxsutawney began the impeachment process? It seems like it may be time.
Because in the Midwest, it feels like spring may never come. And this year, more than ever, I need some sunshine and some beautiful blooms in my life. And just like last year, Monrovia plants are helping me make it happen.
That means I’m breaking the law.
The law of “No planting until Mother’s Day.” It’s a thing where I live in the Midwest (zone 5). Because if you dare to plant a flower before mid-May, you are basically putting in an express order to Mother Nature for snow or severe frost.
But this year, I found my loophole. I’m planting all the pretty flowers – in pots. Did you know you can totally plant perennials in pots and then transplant into the ground later – to adhere to the Mother’s Day law?
I had a little planting party and planted a bunch of pretty perennials in a variety of pots I had around the house.
Here are some things to consider if you are planning to buy plants to move from a pot into the ground:
- Zone-tolerant: The plants in your local garden center should have plants that are perfect for your area – but make sure you aren’t bringing home a tropical plant if you live in the Midwest. It won’t end well.
- Sun/Shade: This is my number one priority when choosing plants – make sure you don’t choose shade-loving plants if you only have sunny areas. And when you plan to move the plants from pots to the ground, consider the sun needs of both areas.
- Size: You don’t want something too large for a pot, so I like to choose smaller perennials that will easily fit in larger pots. You only need a pot to allow your plant to grow for a month without getting too large for the space. If you choose perennials, they will get larger over the years when you plant them in the ground.
- Health: Choose healthy-looking plants to bring home – these give you the best chance of long plant life and can also make the transition from pot to ground a bit easier. (Although if you are super green-thumby, deals can be had if you are willing to nurse a plant back to health. That is not me, by the way.)
- Watering: When your plant has been placed in your pot, you’ll need to keep it watered well. Unlike the ground, pots will dry out more quickly.
- Weather watch: Here’s the reason pots can be a great choice for cooler climates – if it is getting too cold, you can bring your pots inside for the duration of bad weather. So, keep your eyes on the weather until the danger of cold weather has passed. (And I have mine in a wagon so I can just roll it into the house.)
- Transplanting: When Mother’s Day (or your own frost-free date) has passed, dig a larger hole to transplant your plants into well-drained soil. I like to add a little plant food and water heavily at first to help it get used to its new home.
Here are the plants I chose at my local garden center – I think they will look equally lovely in a container and in their long-term home near our new house. (All are perennials, which means I don’t have to replant every year and will enjoy them growing and spreading every year.)
Tiny Sensation Asiatic Lily
Asiatic lilies are some of my very favorite perennials – they look exotic to my Midwest eyes. Plus, they grow and spread every year. The blooms are gorgeous – in the garden or in a vase. Plus, I’ve found them to be very hardy.
Pandora Anemone (in blue and red)
I was smitten by the pretty little blooms on these perennial flowers. They bloom in the spring, which is a great color boost early in the growing season. (They are also full-sun and deer resistant, both important for our house.)
Don’t let Punxsutawney Phil get you down. Break the law and get planting.