How to Keep Shrubs Warm During the Winter


Tender shrubs may suffer damage from winter weather if you do not take steps to protect them properly. Cover the roots with shredded mulch to insulate them from freezing temperatures. Consider constructing a windbreak to protect tender branches from winds. When you take precautions to keep shrubs warm during the winter, the shrubs will rebound quickly in the spring ready to continue growing strong and healthy.

Step 1

Apply between 6 and 8 inches of shredded leaves or wood chips on the soil around the base of the shrubs. Wait until after the first hard freeze of the autumn to lay down the mulch because it might attract burrowing rodents if you apply it sooner. Keep the mulch from touching the center trunk of the shrub.

Step 2

Use the twine to protect the branches and stems from ice and snow. Wrap the top two-thirds of the shrub to keep the central leader (the center trunk) and the surrounding branches together in an upright position. This can help keep these branches from breaking if snow or ice accumulates on the shrub. Remove the twine from the shrubs in the spring to allow the shrub to move freely when snow damage is no longer an issue.

Step 3

Construct a windbreak around the shrubs. Pound the four stakes into the ground approximately 1 foot away from a shrub. Use the hammer to insert the stakes at least 6 inches into the soil. Attach the burlap to one stake with the staple gun and stretch the burlap around each stake so the burlap surrounds the shrub. Cut the burlap when you reach the first stake and staple the end of the burlap to the first stake.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch-wide stakes (higher than the shrubs)
  • Hammer
  • Burlap
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Shredded mulch (leaves or wood chips)
  • Twine or nylon cording


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Protecting Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: tender shrubs, cover the roots, keep shrubs warm

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.