Asked October 18, 2021, 6:26 PM EDT
NB: just an FYI, I spent two hours writing up a similar question and sent it last week (just re #2 below, though), and didn't receive a response. Could someone PLZ get back to me ASAP, esp re #1 below and, if #4 requires moving in the fall, #4? Thanks.
So this is a 4 parter; or possibly a 3 1/2 parter :) Thanks.
Moving my garden around--my neighbor cut down a huge tree and the aspect has changed from shade to actual full sun in some areas, which was extremely detrimental this summer, especially during the heat wave.
However, it gives me the opportunity to try growing some edibles where I never thought I'd have the chance, which is great. Now, however, I have a glut of great plants that I have to move or get rid of; some I'd like to try in pots on my (mostly shady/bright light in winter) "patio"--I rent, it's a concrete slab.
I have three types of plants I'd like to move into pots this fall, if possible, to open up the beds to prep for spring planting. I've done a lot of research on these, but would like either clarification or confirmation that the information given is correct.
#1 Three full grown LADY FERNS
QUESTION: Are 10" pots really ok for nearly full-grown lady ferns???
*I have three lady ferns, each 2-3' wide and 2-3' tall. I read in Hoshizaki et al.'s Fern Grower's Manual (https://www.amazon.com/Fern-Growers-Manual-Barbara-Hoshizaki/dp/160469467X) that a fern should be put in a pot with a diameter of approximately 1/3 the height of the fern. Note this was general guidance, not specific to lady ferns.
If I follow this guidance, it will mean that these fairly massive plants would go in 10" pots. Can this be right? I think I remember reading that ferns have a fairly shallow root structure, but... wanted a second opinion.
#2 Three stunted but apparently healthy MISCANTHUS SINENSIS STRICTUS (porcupine grass)
QUESTION: Is there a problem with transplanting them 1) in the fall and 2) into containers in the fall, or should I wait til spring (warm season grass? Would 14” pots work for a miscanthus that is projected to grown 2' wide and 7-8' tall?
I have three of these, and for various reasons, all my fault, they really haven't grown as large as they should. Yet they're surprisingly healthy (despite being behind a bed of tall nicotiana and cleome all summer, etc.).
I picked this variety specifically because 1) I wanted something that could "screen out" my neighbor; 2) they're much more upright and narrow than most miscanthus (and don't run), so that was optimal for my smaller space; and 3) at least one source says that variegated miscanthus can tolerate partial shade (I think that tip was from Rick Darke's Encyclopedia of Grasses (https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Grasses-Livable-Landscapes/dp/0881928178/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=rick+darke+ornamental&qid=1634593229&s=books&sr=1-1).
Anyway, I'd like to containerize these as well if possible. I have large (14" square) containers that would be perfect, even if they reach their full height (assuming the lady ferns, see above, don't need them).
My concern is that they are apparently warm-season grasses, and the ideal time to transplant them is in the spring. Further, putting them in containers in the winter would subject them to colder temperatures, which might impede their growth? And what I really need from these plants right now is GROWTH... otherwise, might try to trade for tomato starts or something. :) It looks like transplanting them now isn't totally verboten, but how bad would it be for them? Risky?
#3. RE: DECIDUOUS FERNS AND GRASSES ABOVE
QUESTION: would bringing them inside (or covering to warm up/putting near vent) forego the annual leaf drop? I know they're listed as deciduous, but also know that things with ferns and grasses are sometimes not apples to apples with herbaceous perennials. Would either type of plant continues its foliage growth through the winter if brought inside, or must they go dormant? Because I would love to force the miscanthus, for example, to continue pushing its energy into the grass... I expect the answer is "no, they're deciduous," but I thought I would ask.
#4. RE 4 ONE-YEAR OLD MARTAGON LILIES
QUESTION: have four martagon/martagon type lilies, and they are right splat where I want to grow my veggies! Argh. They also clash with the color palette of my ornamentals--orange versus pink and purple; they even kind of clash with each. That said, they’re really pretty and I’d love to have them in pots on my “patio.”
Two are ‘Sunny Morning’ (Martagon 'Sunny Morning' — The Lily Garden) and two are ‘Guinea White’ (Guinea White Turks Cap Lily 2 Bulbs - Lilium martagon - Hardy- 14/16cm Bulbs - Hirt's Gardens (hirts.com)).
Now, despite how temperamental they are said to be, they did fabulously from the bulb the first year for me. I don’t know whether RHS et al. are just gaslighting me or if I am a REALLY talented noob gardener lol…
But my concern here is that I have read multiple contradictory instructions about how to transplant them—and they all are very absolutist in their dictate that you do not veer away from said instruction. I’m sorry to say these are all internet sites—no lily book—but one said if you must move; move in the fall (great!); another said you should never move at any time except while in bloom (???); another insists you should never put them in pots (because of the cold—don’t know if that’s applicable here); another says go ahead, put four martagons in one 14” pot (YES)—though to be fair, that was, I believe, an initial planting.
I’m fairly certain that these will require some care to transplant (just as I took great care when I planted them): they’re going to need a good potting soil with a lot of pumice and a touch of lime. But I really need to know: CAN I move them into a container now? Is a 14x14” square container ok for four martagons?
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP! I posed a similar question (just about the ferns) last week that took me two hours to draw up and I never got a response; if I don’t get a response of some kind to by, say, Wednesday afternoon, I’ll send it again.
Multnomah County Oregon