How to Protect Shrubs Against Freezing


Whether you've added shrubs to your landscape in the fall or if you have shrubs that are already a part of your yard, prepare them for winter's freezing temperatures. A serious drop in temperatures can quickly take out unprotected shrubs or seriously impede their growth. Fortunately, homeowners can take a few simple steps, which require little expense, to guard their shrubs from freezing temperatures.

Step 1

Water the shrub. Continue to water plants through the fall and winter until temperatures reach the freezing point.

Step 2

Mulch around the base of the shrub. Use a shovel to add a layer of mulch (bark or ground-up leaves). Make the layer between 3 to 4 inches deep. (Mulching the area serves as in insulation for the shrub.)

Step 3

Drive stakes into the ground around the shrub with a hammer or mallet. Wrap the stakes with burlap or screening to create a wind barrier.

Step 4

Protect the shrub from drying out. Apply an anti-desiccant spray beginning in the fall and once a month in the winter. Stop using the spray when temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use polyethylene sheeting to cover a shrub. It does not properly insulate plants. Do not drape a shrub with burlap.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Hammer
  • Stakes
  • Anti-desiccant spray


  • Preparing the Garden for Winter
  • How to Winterize Shrubs
Keywords: protecting shrubs against freezing, how to protect shurbs against freezing, steps to protect shrubs from freezing

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.