Protecting Garden Pots During Winter
Tender plants will die if their roots are locked in cold, wet soil in winter, but you can protect them during fall.
Bring Tender Plants Inside
Bring plants that need a frost-free minimum winter temperature into a mildly heated greenhouse or conservatory, or cool room in your home, before bad weather sets in. Water occasionally.
Wrap Up Delicate Pots
Many pots, especially ornamental containers that aren’t designed to stand outside in freezing temperatures, need winter protection. Wrap them up in burlap (possibly double layers), and secure tightly at the top and bottom with strong garden string.
Keep Tender Plants Warm
Wrap potted plants that need protection in low temperatures in layers of horticultural fleece before freezing weather strikes. Move the pot to a sheltered spot, such as a shed, away from flaying winds. Remove the fleece when the weather improves.
Line Clay Pots
Insert bubble wrap inside clay pots in spring to minimize moisture evaporation, and to help keep the roots snug in winter when the temperatures dive—the roots are just a fraction of an inch away from the icy cold, unlike those deep down in the soil.
Plants to Protect
As a general guide, exotic plants from warm climates need winter protection. Some may survive the cold but, because they come from areas with dry winters, they will die in sopping wet soil. In free-draining soil and a sheltered position, though, they may survive. Others need to be wrapped up and brought inside, but the degree of protection varies.
Plants needing winter protection:
- trailing abutilon
- Beaucarnea recurvata
- brugmansia (image 1)
- fuchsia 'Thalia'
- licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
- winter jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum)
- lantana (image 2)
- Chinese fan palm
- geranium (image 3)
- princess flower (Tibouchina)
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