How to Wrap Potted Plants for the Winter


Fortunate is the gardener who lives in a region where potted plants will survive a mild winter without excessive protection from the elements. Gardeners who live in regions where the winter temperatures dip down below freezing for long periods must protect potted plants from these temperatures. Wrap potted plants for the winter in a combination of burlap fabric and plastic bubble wrap to keep the plants well insulated from freezing temperatures.

Step 1

Wait until potted plants enter dormancy before wrapping (watering will no longer be required until spring). Consult specific recommendations for your plant to determine whether you should cut it back or leave it intact. If the plant requires cutting back prior to winter, cut it back at this time.

Step 2

Cut two lengths of twine that are long enough to encircle the top of the container while leaving enough twine to tie the ends off.

Step 3

Cut a double layer of burlap fabric and a double layer of bubble wrap that are large enough to pull up around all of the sides of the container when the container is placed in the center.

Step 4

Place the double layer of burlap onto a flat work surface and set the container in the center of the burlap. Pull up the sides of the burlap around the container and hold the burlap in place while you wrap one length of twine around the top outer edge of the container. Tie the twine tightly to hold the burlap.

Step 5

Place the double layer of bubble wrap on the flat work surface and set the wrapped container in the center of the bubble wrap. Pull up the sides of the bubble wrap around the container in the same fashion. Hold the bubble wrap in place and wrap the other length of twine around the top outer edge of the container. Tie the twine tightly to hold the bubble wrap in place.

Step 6

Add as much mulch as possible around the top of the soil in the container to insulate the top of the container. If you cut back the plant in Step 1, cover the entire top of the container with mulch. If you did not cut back the plant in Step 1, place the mulch snugly around the base of the plant and cover the rest of the top of the soil.

Step 7

Wrap another piece of burlap around the plant if you did not cut it back. Any plant you do not cut back will benefit from being wrapped in burlap. Secure the burlap with twine to hold it around the plant.

Step 8

Place the container in a location that is sheltered from the wind, if possible.

Tips and Warnings

  • Terra cotta, fiberglass and plastic pots may crack when left outside in freezing conditions because the soil inside will expand as it freezes. Wrapping the pots should minimize cracking, but it may not eliminate it. Some pots contain special clay that withstands freezing temperatures. Glazed containers usually tolerate freezing temperatures more readily than terra cotta containers.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Burlap fabric
  • Bubble wrap
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Mulch (shredded bark, wood chips or straw)


  • Potted Plants
Keywords: protect potted plants, wrap potted plants for the winter, wrap the potted plants

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.