With the onset of winter weather, some plants will need help trapping the heat necessary to survive the cold months ahead. A number of materials are available, some ordinary household items, others are specialty items available commercially. A small investment of protection in the winter will pay off in new growth in the spring. .
Cover plants before the warning of a first frost. (A first frost usually occurs between September and November.) Remove the cover when the temperature will be consistently above freezing to prevent possible rotting or sweating. Replace the covers if temperatures return to below freezing.
Use several sheets of newspaper to cover an outdoor plant. Separate the sheets of newspaper. Line the sheets up side-by-side onto a flat surface. Use a heavy tape to join the sides together. Loosely drape the sheets over the plant. Secure the sheets underneath the plant's container by either tucking them under the container or use additional tape to prevent the sheets from being removed.
Use thick black plastic to cover an outdoor plant. Purchase the heaviest plastic available as it will resist tearing. Unroll the plastic from its container and loosely drape over the plant. Secure the plastic beneath the plant's container by gathering excess plastic and tucking it underneath or attach tape.
Recycle paper grocery bags and use them to protect an outdoor plant. Open the bag and cut along one side crease from the top through the bottom of the bag. Repeat this on at least four bags, or more if necessary, to create enough surface to cover the plant. Line the cut bags up side-by-side onto a flat surface. Secure the bags together along the cut sides using a heavy tape. Drape the bag over the plant then secure it underneath the plant's container. Attach tape along the side of the bag covering, if necessary.
Cover plants with frost blankets, made from special fibers and readily available at garden centers or polystyrene, a rigid plastic. Choose these materials for climates that are that receive heavy snow or are susceptible to a large amount of rainfall. Drape the frost blanket or polystyrene over the plant. Secure the material under the plant's container by gathering any excess and tucking it underneath the plant