Winter is almost here, so you should all start thinking about protecting your plants from wind and snow. Even plants that are hardy to your zone can be hit hard when planted in a container during the cold months. The top part of most of the plant has the ability to go dormant, the roots don’t – and when exposed to the cold, roots die.
To protect your potted plants, consider the following tips:
BRING OUTDOOR PLANTS INDOORS
Some of your plants will be perfectly happy to be grown as indoor plants. They will survive the freezing temperatures, but you need to test out the best spot for sun exposure, since the sunlight in winter is not that intense. Choose some interesting flower pots to fit your interior style.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT POT
The climate in your area determines which types of pots will do best in winter. Wood containers are very durable. Ceramic and terra cotta containers tend to crack with freezing. Some gardeners add a coat of pool paint to prevent moisture from entering the porous surface. Metal, plastic and concrete containers are non-porous, but heavy and awkward to move. Plastic containers can crack over a period of time. Resin and foam designs can be a lightweight alternative to metal and concrete. Hanging baskets or thin-walled pots may not be enough to protect the root zone, and the hanging baskets tend to dry out faster.
FIND THE RIGHT PLACE
If you want your plants to be protected, you need to choose the right for them. You can think about placing the pots on the north or east sides of the house where conditions are typically shadier. Trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, evergreens or hardy dwarf conifers are ideal for adding winter interest. If possible, try to place the mentioned plants near the front door or window where they will be easily seen.
HOW TO WATER DURING THE WINTER
There are less rainfall during the winter season, so you need to water your pots adequately. The best time to water them is during the day, but avoid watering when the weather is freezing. Here are some tips to provide added protection for your plants:
- Group the pots together on soil and close to your house, and put straw bales near them. Putting them together increases the mass and volume of insulation and protects them from winds and cold.
- Burry the pots in soil to the top of the containers.
- For added protection put the pots into larger ones.
- Wrap the pots in geotextile blankets, old blankets, buble wrap or burlap.
- Mulch the pots with shredded leaves or straw.
- Cover your plants with plastic, burlap or cloth at night.