Many people are in love with container gardening. You can grow a wide variety of plants in a small area using containers. It is also ideal if you are renting a home and you want to invest in many plants and shrubs. By growing these plants in a container you have the ease of taking them with you when you move. However, when the winter cold and freezing temperatures arrive many people begin to fear that their beloved container plants might not survive. Here are ten tips to help you maintain your winter container plants and shrubs.
1) I hope that when you planted your containers you took into consideration the zone that you live in for cold hardiness. If your container plant is rated to survive one zone below your zone then it should be fine in a container. An example of this is if you live in a zone 5 then you should only plant shrubs and plants that can survive down to a zone 4 in a container. If you have followed this planting rule of thumb then your plants should be fine in their containers this winter. If you want to be extra careful then only use containers for plants that can survive two zones below your rated zone. But, I personally feel that one zone below your rated zone is fine.
2) If your containers are small then bury them in the dirt of your flower bed. This can help small perennials in small containers survive.
3) You can bring the container inside or into a protected area.
4) If you have several small containers then choose a corner of your yard and place all of your containers there. Nestle them together for warmth. Also mulch around the containers for added protection. Extra plants in one spot can also help with wind protection for each other.
5) If your plants are in large containers then you can wrap these with insulation and duct tape to prevent the roots from freezing.
6) Terra Cotta planters can freeze and crack so you might want to place these in a garage or a carport for added protection.
7) Some people place burlap over and around their plants. I have never personally done this but I have a neighbor that used to do this. It seemed to work for her since she never lost her container plants and many of these were roses which I thought would surely perish.
8) I like to bring my shrubs and trees in under a carport for added protection. I also like to wrap my pots for added warmth.
9) Many people say to water your plants before hard freezing weather. I have never done this before, however.
10) I will often place plants that I’m especially concerned about against the walls of my house. No matter how insulated your home is the walls still leak a small amount of heat that will help your container plants to survive.