How to Protect Plants in the Winter


If you want to have a nice garden when spring arrives, and have plants come back out as healthy as the prior year, then you need to protect your garden during the cold winter months. There are several ways to protect plants and trees from the winter chill. Although you can adapt methods for use on a variety of plants, some of them work better on particular plants than on others, such as digging up bulbs or handling small plants versus large plants.

Step 1

Cover small plants with cloth or plastic. Use a twist tie to secure it at the bottom. The cover will block out the cold winds and keep frost from settling.

Step 2

Set up fans between trees in late winter to keep newly forming buds from being burned by frost. The man-made breeze keeps frost from forming. Heaters can help with this as well by sending heat between the limbs.

Step 3

Bring potted plants inside to get them out of the cold. Even if you just take them into a storage area or garage, they will be warmer than they would be outside.

Step 4

Cut perennials back for the winter. Trim off dead flower stems and cut stalks back to a few inches from the ground. There is no hang onto the remnants of scraggly looking flowers in your garden.

Step 5

Spray plants with water if the weather is cold enough to freeze. Do this if you are expecting a heavy frost or deep freeze before its normal time and your garden isn't prepared for winter yet. The water will freeze on the plants and insulate them from outside conditions.

Step 6

Cover soil around plants with a thick layer of mulch to insulate the ground around the plants and keep them warmer.

Step 7

Dig up bulbs and clean them off. Place them in a bag in a dry area until spring when you can replant them.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth or plastic
  • Twist ties
  • Fans or heaters
  • Pruning snips
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Plastic bags


  • Botanical: How to Care for Plants in Winter
  • Ed Hume Seeds: Protecting Plants During Cold Weather
Keywords: protect plants, winter plant care, care gardens winter