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Art Knapp
So Much More Than Plants
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Art Knapp Articles

Freeze-Resistant Plants and Shrubs

in Inspiration

Freeze-Resistant Plants and Shrubs

When we talk about freeze-resistant plants and shrubs, what we are referring to is plants and shrubs that can withstand our winter. On the Lower Mainland, you are typically safe with anything for USDA Garden Zone 8.

There will be some minor differences depending on your location. If you are close to the water, then your zone will be more like an 8b. If you are further inland, then that zone may be even 7 depending on the elevation. Gardens can also have little microclimates which are slightly warmer or cooler depending on how sheltered they are.

Experienced gardeners often try to “push a zone” or plant things that are intended for slightly warmer climates than you actually have. Sometimes this can work in a sheltered area with special care, but do not try this if you are a beginner.

If you go to a garden center like ours in Surrey, plants will be labeled with which garden zone they are appropriate for, and you can always ask the staff.

To give you a few specific examples, tulips, daylilies (Hemerocallis), and daffodils will do fine in our oceanic climate. They will die back in the winter and return in the spring.

In contrast, dahlias will not likely survive our winters and will need to be dug up and stored and then replanted in the spring. Some hardy palms and banana plants may survive the winter, but they often need special care such as wrapping the trunks and/or mulching heavily.

Most tropical plants can live inside, but will not make it through our winters outside, such as mango or citrus trees. Some people will pot up tropical plants, allow them to be outside all summer, and then bring them inside the house or inside a slightly warmer greenhouse for the winter.

It is helpful to do a little research on what you want to plant before buying plants and shrubs for the garden, so you can concentrate on hardy plants that you know will do well. You can also learn a lot from other local gardeners and your local horticulture club. 

Art Knapp has 15 locations across British Columbia and is well known as the go-to garden centre for everything garden-related. Art Knapp, himself, began the business in the 1940's, and now, 80 years later, you can find more than he ever dreamed of in our stores. Come and see us on King George Boulevard in Surrey. 

If you have any questions about this article or want to talk to us about gardening, just give us a call at (604) 596-9201.

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