|Positive ||PlantNutt ||On May 16, 2010, PlantNutt from Lebanon, TN wrote:
Although I'm in zone 6b and was aware that these are rated winter hardy to only zone 7, I bought and planted almost two dozen of these last fall (2009) — I was counting on global warming to keep our area warm this past winter! Some are along the eastern-facing wall of my home, some along the western-facing wall, and some just out in the open. When I planted them, I mulched them first with a 2" blanket of pine bark, overlaid with a 2" layer of pine needles. They were all planted in well-draining beds that had been generously amended with organic matter (our local soil is heavy clay). I watered them thoroughly once a week until December, whenever we had a dry spell.
Despite going through the coldest winter in 30 years in our area (just east of Nashville), all of my shrubs survived. Granted, in February and March, they all looked dead, with brown withered leaves (and I was kicking myself for "pushing the envelope" on the hardiness factor). But the stems were still flexible, not brittle, so I held out hope. Within a month (by mid-April), I could see new pinkish-purple leaves sprouting along the stems, and now (mid-May), they are all gorgeously leafed out again. Only a few put out a nominal show of flowers this spring, but I'm still delighted that they performed so admirably outside of their comfort zone.