Funeral Plants – Keeping Alive

Q: My mother and father in law were killed in a car accident the day after Christmas. We have hydrangeas, azaleas and what looks like mountain laurels. The hydrangeas and azaleas are blooming. I have been watering them inside. When can we plant them outside?

We live in Cobb County but I will plant most of them in Greene County at Lake Oconee.

A: I am sorry to hear of your loss….. and will pray for your recovery.

When my Dad died in 2000, my mother kept many of the plants that were given to the family. She remarked to me over Christmas that several were still alive and happy…and told me yesterday that the flower basket I gave her for her birthday last year still survives too.

I think you’ll need to keep the woody plants indoors in the sunniest window possible from now until April. When all danger of frost has past they can be transplanted to the lake.

Another option is to put them under several fluorescent fixtures a few inches from the leaves and place them in a garage or basement where temperatures don’t go below 40 degrees. That will keep them alive but out of your way in the main house.