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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.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

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.

Winter Tender Plants Inside for ProtectionContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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.

Wrap Ornamental Containers in Freezing WeatherContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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.

Wrap Tender Plants to protect in Harsh WeatherContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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.

Line Clay Pots with Bubble Wrap to Protect RootsContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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
? Aeonium
? aloe
? Beaucarnea recurvata
? begonia
? bougainvillea
? brugmansia (image 1)
? cactus
? citrus
? echeveria
? fuchsia 'Thalia'
? licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
? heliotrope
? winter jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum)
? lantana (image 2)
? Chinese fan palm
? Musa
? oleander
? geranium (image 3)
? princess flower (Tibouchina)

  • Angels Trumpet Would Not Survive Cold WeatherContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007
  • Lantana Needs Protection Against Cold WeatherContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007
  • Geraniums are Warm Weather PlantsContainers for Patios ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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