How to Protect Outdoor Plants


Outdoor plants are susceptible to a lot of things. They can get diseases or fungus that will kill leaves, or in some cases the plant. Pests such as bugs love to eat them. And there are a multitude of ways that plants can be damaged from weather conditions. If you have an outdoor garden or yard, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your plants. It isn't foolproof, and some damage is always possible, but at least you will know that you did what you could.

Step 1

Cover small plants with plastic in the fall when frost starts. Do this at night if the plants have not finished their flowering for the year. Move any plants that you want to keep from going dormant to an indoor location. Put a new layer of mulch down around plants to protect roots from cold weather.

Step 2

Keep soil damp during droughts or when plants are newly planted so that they do not dry out. Make sure to water during the early morning. Evening watering encourages mold growth, and afternoon watering loses most of the water to evaporation.

Step 3

Cut branches of trees that touch the ground to prevent mold growth. Cut one side of a forked top in a tree so that it does not become weak and split in a wind or winter storm. Trim out diseased limbs to prevent further spread, and trim damaged limbs that might break and damage other things.

Step 4

Rake up leaves around trees that are susceptible to mold problems or already have a disease. The leaves become damp and encourage mold growth, and they spread diseases that the tree has.

Step 5

Spray pesticides to keep bugs from eating your plants or grow plants that deter bugs such as magnolias or peppers. The bugs generally don't like strong odors and will stay away. Cuttings of human hair sometimes works with animals as does installing a fence around vegetable gardens.

Step 6

Pull up weeds and grasses growing in plant beds and put a layer of mulch down. The mulch will block light and prevent weeds from growing. Weeds and grasses take away nutrients that the flowers and plants need.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree pruner
  • Loppers
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Plastic
  • Rake
  • Pesticides
  • Pest deterrent plants


  • Botanical: How to Take Care of Plants in Winter
  • Earth Easy: Natural Garden Pest Control
  • New Mexico State University Extension: Tree Pruning Techniques
Keywords: protect outdoor plants, outdoor plant care, care for plants