5 Ways to Keep Your Plants Alive Through the Winter
You’ve spent all spring, summer, and fall tending to your plants, and you have thriving greenery to show for your efforts. When winter rolls around, how do you protect those plants? The species of plants you have, where they’re growing, and where you live have a lot to do with it. Many plants will survive the winter, even a harsh winter, when you take good care of them.
Some of your potted plants are hardy and can survive the winter. They still need the right pots to have the best chance. Winter is rough on pots: even the best ones, the insulated ones, crack when exposed to enough cold weather. Keep an eye on your plants’ pots so you can buy new ones as soon as you see signs of damage.
Plant Your Pots
Some of your potted plants will do fine outdoors during the winter if you plant them. You can leave them in their pots, and simply bury the pots in the ground. The pots act as insulation for the roots if you do it right, so try putting foam around the pots to give the roots a bit of extra warmth. Plant them in a group with your hardiest plants on the outside.
Do this before winter sets in too heavily so the roots have time to adjust. When choosing a potting location, try putting them in a corner of the garden where an overhang from the porch or roof will protect them from precipitation.
Move Potted Plants
Not all potted plants will survive outdoors in the winter. Some of your potted plants may like it better in a shed or in the garage. They’ll be protected from wind, snow, and freezing temperatures, but they won’t be indoors where it might get too hot or dry for their liking.
Make sure your plants are under a window where they get sunlight. Even the plants that prefer partial shade require sun for a few hours of the day. If inside of your shed or garage doesn’t have enough sunlight, a covered porch might be a good compromise. Otherwise, bring them inside. You’ll be bringing in tropical and warm weather plants anyway, so bring all your potted plants inside if no partial outdoor options exist.
Cover Your Plants
A long frost can damage or kill even hardy perennial plants. When your plants are in the garden, you can’t dig them all up just so you can bring them indoors for protection. This is when monitoring the temperature becomes so important. Get a reliable weather app on your T-Mobile iPad Pro, so you know what’s coming and can still connect to T-Mobile’s network even when the weather is bad.
Use the weather as a plant care guideline. When temperatures dip below freezing, cover your plants. Some gardeners prefer towels or blankets, while others gravitate toward plastic or tarp. Keep in mind that a towel or blanket will keep a plant warm as long as it doesn’t start to snow. In precipitation, cloth will get wet and freeze, and it might damage your plant more.
Watch How You Water
The soil in winter doesn’t share the ambient temperature of the air. Sometimes, the temperature outside is below freezing, but your plants’ roots are sitting in cold, wet soil, which isn’t good for them. If you water your plants before the temperatures dip below freezing, you might create a layer of frost atop the soil, which is also bad for your plants’ roots.
Your plants don’t need as much water in the winter, so make sure their pots drain well. Check the soil. When it’s dry, they need some water. Otherwise, just leave them alone. Plants in winter don’t require as much water, because they aren’t growing. They just need to stay alive.
Ask for help if you aren’t sure how to care for certain plants. A local nursery or the plant section of your local hardware store is a good place to find resources. The internet, of course, is another. Keep an eye on your plants and help them survive through to spring.