Surviving winter

I grew outdoors and left one plant outside. I cut off most of the buds on the branches. Now we are experiencing a harsh winter and the plant isn’t doing so well. Should I cut the plant back to near its trunk? Will it hibernate until the next growing season?

The plant will not grow much during the winter when the temperatures dip below 50degF (10degC). If the temperature goes much lower and the ground cools, the plant will die. If the ground is kept warm using heavy mulching and the plant is covered with a heavy polyethylene tarp (to keep it free from harsh winds and to create a greenhouse effect of warming the air in an enclosed space), then the plant may survive.

In the spring, the plant will begin to grow again and respond to early warm weather and short days by flowering. The flowers should be removed by April 10. Then the plant will begin to grow vegetatively during the summer and flower once again in the fall.

Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at [email protected], and send queries via his websites at All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s book, The Big Book of Buds. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.