Going from the extreme of warm temperatures to freezing temperatures and sometimes harsh winter elements can be stressful for plants. Yet, when plants are ready to take a hiatus from growing and the temperatures are set to take a dip, outdoor plants can be prepared to withstand and survive all that winter can bring. Take the necessary steps to care for your outdoor plants during the winter, and they will be ready to flourish in the summer.
Begin winter prep during the summer months. Keep the plant healthy during the growing season by keeping damaging pests and diseases under control. Stop fertilizing the plant in late summer to avoid promoting late-season growth that may be too tender to survive winter conditions.
Provide a little extra insulation to outdoor plants during the winter. Add a layer of mulch, 2 to 3 inches thick, around the base of the plants that are planted in the ground.
Cover plants before the warning of a first frost. Use frost blankets, made from special fibers or polystyrene, a rigid plastic. 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.
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.