TAHGDC: Winter Care for the Potted Shrub

Potted shrubs aren‘t as able to change to tough winters as those in the ground the soil in thecontainer simply can‘t provide the insulation in-ground soil can. Roots of plants in containershave greater exposure to below-freezing temperatures on all sides.

Cold weather also can lift up heavy plants out of the soil. This happens when temperatures go up and down, causing the soil to freeze, melt (from solid to liquid), and freeze again. This cycle is terrible and upsetting for roots. When lifting up happens, it leaves the plant‘s roots exposed to the cold weather and winter winds, which causes them to dry out, putting your plants in danger.

Winter Care for your Shrubs

You can take a few measures that help your plants make it through a tough winter. Be aware thatsmaller containers freeze much faster than larger containers, so the larger the container, thebetter, even for dwarf shrub varieties. Young, tender plants aren‘t as tough as established plants. Because (the adding of things to soil to make plants grow better) and trimming results in new, tender green plants, stop doing both in midsummer to help shrubs harden off for winter. As yougo into fall and winter, make sure your plants are well-watered.

Move Potted Shrubs to Unheated Shelters

An unheated garage, shed, porch, or basement can be a good place to (survive the winter) pottedshrubs, especially those carefully thought about/believed tender or not tough and strong to yourZone. Sheltered locations are good options for (dropping leaves every autumn) shrubs withbranches that might be easily able to be harmed or influenced by breakage from heavy ice orsnow. Keep an eye on potted shrubs throughout the winter to make sure they don‘t dry out. Youmight need to water (every once in a while).

When Shelter Isn‘t Available

If moving plants to unheated indoor areas or under a shelter isn‘t an option, there are a few ways of doing things to put into use outdoors. During the fall, think about/believe transplanting theshrubs into the ground. They can be returned to the container in the spring. Another option ifyou have a garden area or raised beds where you can dig a trench is to bury the pottedcontainers (up to the rim of the container) in the soil. Add straw, shredded bark mulch, or leavesaround any areas of the exposed pot. If this isn‘t an option, look for the best outdoor area foryour plants where they receive some protection. A spot on the north or east corner of your homeor other structure is a place think about.

Insulate Plants with Mulch

Remove your containers from hard road surface or concrete patios, which can make worse theextremes in the heating-and-melting (from solid to liquid) cycle. Set your containers on theground instead. If you have many containers, group them togetherwith the most cold-sensitive plants placed in the middle. For the more cold-sensitive shrubs, suchas flowers and camellias, loosely drape (coarse fabric) around the plant times. Surround each container with mulch, then add an extra layer of mulch around theouter outside border of the grouped plants to serve as insulation. Check every once in a while  and water as needed.

Protect with Fabric Screens

If you have small evergreens, in addition to protecting their roots by adding mulch around the container, you might want to shield them with screens. This can help prevent the evergreens from sunscald. Simply drive or pound stakes in theground around the potted plants and staple onto the valuable things that might be lost. Standard Winter Care for potted shrubs or evergreen can also be followed through by creating a small tent using stakes, like a tepee. Drive stakes into the ground around the containerand the insulating mulch, then cover the tepee structure with (coarse fabric) or other fabric. Either staple the fabric to the valuable things that might be lost or wrap twine around it to holdthe fabric in place.

If you‘re planning on adding new container plants to your  in the spring, think about plants that are tough and strong in two Zones colder than your area to improve their chances of winter survival.

The Angry Hedgehog Garden Design Company
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