Please help me figure out what to do with these plants


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I've been researching around but still feel a bit clueless. I suppose a lot of it has to do with experimentation, although I would love if more experienced people could give me some advice on how to overwinter these plants currently living in my water garden.

I am in zone 7a. I have a mid-sized patio pond that I need to break down for the winter in late August before I leave for a few months...I've actually already moved the livestock indoors into an aquarium, but I'm less certain what to do with the plants:

1 black gamecock iris
1 pot of star grass
1 pot of zebra rush
1 pot of horsetail
2 pots of creeping jenny (has been growing fantastically submerged but I've read I can keep them as potted plants inside -- will this shock the plant if it is used to growing in water?)
1 pot of water hawthorne
1 hardy water lilly (I think I will tell my mom to let it sit in some water until the frost kills the leaves and flowers, then trim it back and do the wrap in a towel-store in a bag method).

I also have a ton of floating plants that I know I will need to toss into the compost. The pond must be drained for the winter, sadly, so I can't simply move things deeper underwater once I trim them. I was going to buy a rubbermaid container and fill it with water for the hawthorne, and move it inside. Can I put other plants like the grass, rush and iris in this container as well? Does this container need to be by a window? Can I even keep star grass, zebra rush, and horsetail alive inside or should I keep those outside in pots???

Please help, I'm a beginner to water gardening and overwintering these types of plants. Thank you for your great forum :)
 
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Welcome to the GPF!

Let's start with one concept - hardy vs non-hardy. Anything that is hardy to your zone can spend the "colder" months outdoors (I'm in Chicago, so cold means something different here!) So if you can, figure out which are hardy and which are not.

Then let's start with the hardy plants. These ARE water plants, so they would prefer to overwinter in the water BUT - you can also plant them in the ground to protect the roots over winter. I've done this many times with irises, rushes, reeds, grasses, etc. Just plant them up to the crown and mulch around the plant really well. I cut the plant down to about 2-3 inches from the crown once it dies back for winter. In the spring I wait until I see new growth starting and then I dig it up and re-pot it or replant it as the case may be.

As for non-hardy plants - many people successfully overwinter tender plants indoors, but it takes a bit more than just moving them inside. They will require good light, usually more than just a window exposure will provide. Most non-hardy plants are tropical, so they prefer long hours of sunshine - in the case of being indoors, that generally means grow lights or at the very least some source of artificial light. For me, it's more effort than it's worth to try to save them, as I find they will survive, but not thrive over winter. By the time I can get them out in the spring it takes them forever to recuperate and really start to look good. If you are asking your mom to do this work for you, then I suppose it will depend how much she is willing to participate! Some people even overwinter floating plants - if you have the right set up, it can be done. Again, for me - more work than it's worth, but some people enjoy the challenge.

I've never tried to overwinter a hardy lily indoors, but it sounds like you've done a bit of research there!

I hope that helps!
 
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Thank you, Lisa!

For the grasses, then I think I will get some pots to pop them in above ground and mulch over them, and leave 'em outside. Hadn't heard of this way before! Would you suggest this method for the iris as well? It's what I do for the non-bog iris around, but this guy has been growing in shallow water all summer.

I have a bunch of water lettuce of the normal and dwarf variety in a 30g aquarium situated near a window. They've been doing ok for ~2 months now -- not spreading as fast as their counterparts outside, but still creating mini plants and not dying. I was hoping to keep them in there all winter, since I like the nitrate-sucking qualities of the roots for the fish inhabitants, but I keep hearing that they don't do well inside over the winter...must be something with the quality of light. I can't buy grow lights so the window will have to do. :/

Edit: I forgot to mention my pot of dwarf parrot feather. I love this silly thing. Can I treat it like the rush and grass?
 

sissy

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iris can and will grow and take over just like grasses they can even bust a pot so I double up my pots
 
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@fishbones I am always hesitant to try to overwinter in a pot - above ground is not the same as in ground. What if you bury the pot? If you do leave them in pots above ground do mulch them well and put them in a protected spot. You’re a zone ahead of me so they might do fine!

Parrots feather over winters here in the pond, so it should do well if you protect it like the others.

And yes - winter sunlight is not the same as summer. Less hours and different intensity. But they may make it - worth a try if you already have the set up!
 
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sissy

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Cooler soil we slow down the growth also .As long as they do not freeze to the roots they will be OK .I would bury them also like lisak said .You can bury them with lots of mulch around in the soil also .You also have to be concerned with root rot also
 
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