how long a dormant period for Chinese elm

Debby

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Currently, I've been wintering tiny Chinese elms ion the curtained windowsill of the closed and coldest room in my house. They drop most of their leaves and basically limp through the winter. I did try planting out a sacrifice plant the first year we lived in this province (Nova Scotia) but it didn't survive which is why I've been doing what I'm doing with them now. Problem is, I'm moving to a new house that will not be big enough to have a cold room so what to do now.

What I was thinking was to let them stay outside in fall and into early winter and then bring them in to start leafing out early because I will have loads of south facing windows so light probably won't be an issue. If I were to pull them in at the beginning of January they wouldn't have to go through the absolute coldest months of the year. To date our coldest temperature has been about -7 C or thereabouts. Does anyone have any ideas as to how long would be a satisfactory dormant period? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
 
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Bonsai Nut

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Chinese elms do not require a hard dormant period, and can be treated as a tropical with no ill effects. I keep Chinese elms outside year round here in Southern California, and though they drop leaves for about a month, the temperature never falls below about 38-40.

When I lived in Chicago, I kept my Chinese elms inside all Winter, and moved them outside in the Spring. They never dropped all their leaves, but they did drop some, and they more or less stopped growing while they were inside.
 

Debby

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Thanks very much for the info. There are so many differing opinions on this question and when one guy is telling you that you're dooming your CE's to death in a couple years, and one's own are limping along after a couple years of this and you begin to wonder. You know what I mean. So I thought I'd come and ask the experts. So thanks experts, I feel like maybe my little trees will be alright.

Regards,
Debby
 

007

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I had very, very poor luck growing C. Elm indoors when I was in the midwest. I tried several different approaches, and none worked the best and actually lost 2 trees. I know that C. Elm is "semi-tropical" but based on my 1st hand experiences, they need a proper dormant period to thrive. Ultimately, what worked beautifully was to overwinter them in the refrigerator. No joke . . .

I have a shohin sized Seiju Elm that is in a 1" deep pot that would have met certain doom if left outside. I tried two years indoors and nearly lost the tree both winters. Finally, one winter I put it in the fridge after it dropped its leaves, watered it periodically (its very very dry in the fridge), and pulled it out when temps warmed back up to spring-like temps (about 4 months in the fridge). This worked beautifully for 3 years. I bought a mini-fridge off craigslist for about $50 that I dedicated to my tree.

Only reason I'm no longer doing this is because I moved to SoCal.
 

Klytus

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I brought a struggling elm in just after Christmas,i had to break it free from the icy clutches.

It sat in a basin in the kitchen for a few days before transfering to a frost free window,new green buds can be seen but i suspect these will be zapped by the dreaded black-spot.
 

Debby

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I had very, very poor luck growing C. Elm indoors when I was in the midwest. I tried several different approaches, and none worked the best and actually lost 2 trees. I know that C. Elm is "semi-tropical" but based on my 1st hand experiences, they need a proper dormant period to thrive. Ultimately, what worked beautifully was to overwinter them in the refrigerator. No joke . . .

I have a shohin sized Seiju Elm that is in a 1" deep pot that would have met certain doom if left outside. I tried two years indoors and nearly lost the tree both winters. Finally, one winter I put it in the fridge after it dropped its leaves, watered it periodically (its very very dry in the fridge), and pulled it out when temps warmed back up to spring-like temps (about 4 months in the fridge). This worked beautifully for 3 years. I bought a mini-fridge off craigslist for about $50 that I dedicated to my tree.

Only reason I'm no longer doing this is because I moved to SoCal.
That sounds like a really neat idea. Using a little mini fridge,especially as I am focusing on mame size. Maybe that will be a fall purchase. Thanks for the idea.
 
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