Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Winterize Flower Pots

Outdoor flower pots and containers require proper winterization in order to survive the cold months. The soil in a flower pot is more exposed to wind and other winter elements than garden beds, so perennial plants are more likely to be damaged while dormant. Even if no plants are in the pots, the pots themselves may suffer winter damage. Prepare the flower pots in late fall before the soil begins to freeze to ensure both the pots and the plants inside survive until next spring.

Dig up the roots or rhizomes of tender perennial container flowers such as begonia. Store the plants inside perforated plastic bags filled with dry peat moss in a 40-degree-F location until spring replanting.

Dump out the old potting soil from flower pots that had annuals and tender perennials in them. Place the soil into the compost pile.

  • Outdoor flower pots and containers require proper winterization in order to survive the cold months.

Cover the soil in pots housing hardy perennials with a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch. Use wood chips, bark or straw. Mulching preserves moisture in winter and helps prevent root freeze.

Move plants to a greenhouse, shed or garage to protect them from extreme winter cold and wind if possible. Alternately, move the flower pots to the side of a building or fence that is protected from heavy winds.

Turn empty pots upside down or place them in a covered area so they do not collect snow or water during winter. Standing water in pots may freeze, leading to cracked flower pots.

  • Cover the soil in pots housing hardy perennials with a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch.
  • Turn empty pots upside down or place them in a covered area so they do not collect snow or water during winter.

Tip

Place large, heavy planters on wheeled carts to make moving them easier in fall.

Take baskets down from where they are hanging when winterizing your flower pots. Winter winds may blow them down and damage them, or the weight of the frozen soil and heavy snow can potentially rip their hanging hooks out of the eaves.

Warning

Check soil in planters housing evergreen plants or dormant plants throughout winter for dryness. Water as needed, otherwise plants may suffer from dehydration or winter burning.

Related Articles

Are Dahlias Annual or Perennials?
Are Dahlias Annual or Perennials?
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
Growing Alstroemeria
Growing Alstroemeria
How to Look After a Japanese Lucky Bamboo
How to Look After a Japanese Lucky Bamboo
How to Ship Potted Plants
How to Ship Potted Plants
How to Grow Non-Stop Begonias
How to Grow Non-Stop Begonias
How to Grow Begonias in Pots
How to Grow Begonias in Pots
How to Grow Carnations in Pots
How to Grow Carnations in Pots
How to Care for a Hoya Bella Plant
How to Care for a Hoya Bella Plant
How to Water a Hyacinth Over the Winter
How to Water a Hyacinth Over the Winter
Care of Angel Wing Plants
Care of Angel Wing Plants
How to Take Care of Outdoor Potted Plants Over Winter
How to Take Care of Outdoor Potted Plants Over Winter
How to Care for Egyptian Papyrus
How to Care for Egyptian Papyrus
How Do I Care for My Dipladenia Plant?
How Do I Care for My Dipladenia Plant?
Garden Guides
×