Winter in zone 8b (Louisiana)?

hierophant

Yamadori
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Hi folks,

I'm spending my first winter here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (hardiness zone 8b) and I'm curious what I should be doing with my bonsai. Currently the weather is vacillating between highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. It might get a little colder, but it doesn't often get much lower than the freezing point here (is what I've been told).

What should I be doing to take care of the following?

- Dwarf pomegranate
- Several types of maple
- Several junipers
- Azalea

I'm especially worried about the pomegranate. Does it need a period of dormancy? (Will it get one from these temps, or if they settle into 30F-60F?)

Thank you so much!
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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I was in Baton Rouge in January 10 years ago... the daffodils and magnolias were all blooming! I think your winters are fairly short and mild, and the maples, junipers and azaleas won't need much in the way of winter protection other then being placed on the ground if your night time temps will fall into the teens. I'm pretty sure pomegranates can take frost and light freezes but I wouldn't let it freeze solid for a long time. Moving it into an outbuilding or garage if hard freezing weather is expected would be a good idea.
 

hierophant

Yamadori
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Excellent -- thank you so much!

For the pom: should I continue to fertilize? Should I expect leaf drop? I'm getting some curling and drooping on the tips, and I'm not sure if that's a lack of fertilizer or general weather-based unhappiness.

Related question for a dear friend in Iowa with a pom: given that it's gonna get cold for months, should she be putting it in the ground, in the garage, or bringing it completely inside? Still not clear whether poms need a period of dormancy.

I really appreciate the help!
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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I suspect they'd benefit from a short dormant period but will let others who've actually kept pomegranates definitively answer that question.
 

Joe Dupre'

Chumono
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Not sure about the pomegranate, but the rest should do well outside. Our standard cheeky reply to the subject of short winters..........."We had a short winter last year. I think it was on a Tuesday.................in the morning." Ha! (My Location: 30 miles south of Baton Rouge)

You are welcome to join our small club in B.R. ...Louisiana Bonsai Society. Contact Lowell Tilley.
 

hierophant

Yamadori
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Thank you both very much!

Joe: I've been meaning to come to the LBS meetings, but I've been swamped grant-writing! Fingers crossed for next month.

Zach: thanks! I will absolutely do.
 

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