Meet the Authors
Great Garden Plants has a team of gardening specialists creating all of the helpful and informative posts found in this blog. Learn a little more about these exceptional plant specialists and authors below.
If you want to know the science behind plants, Miranda is here to help. A plant biologist and fan of all things flowering, Miranda loves to make gardening and horticulture accessible to the masses. She has traveled all over the world (from Africa to Central America and the UK) researching plant biology and nutrient dynamics and knows just what your plants need to call your garden home. Whether you’re reading her blogs or watching her videos on YouTube and Instagram, you never know what she’ll teach you next.
Lindsey is a content marketing specialist combining her love for data and writing with her love of plants! She has worked with horticultural industry changemakers nationwide to help spread the word about their improvements to controlled environment agriculture. From blogging gardening content to spreading the word about new cultivars, Lindsey works diligently to share gardening tips with everybody. Why? Because gardening is for everybody!
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If you can’t move your containers to shelter, you’ll have to bring to shelter to your containers! Try wrapping your pots with insulation, like blankets, burlap, or thick bubble wrap. This protects your pots from cracking – but more importantly – it protects the roots from harsh freezes that can damage the plant.
Don’t mind the extra work? You can always use nature’s protection: the soil. Dig a trench and bury the potted containers up to the base of the plant. This will provide as much insulation as it would have if planted in the ground.
No matter which option you choose, make sure you finish by insulating your plants with a layer of mulch. This ensures the soil stays moist and a little warmer
Surprised you still need to water your plants in winter? Dormant does not mean dead, so your plants still need water! Roots may die from desiccation in dry pots, so it’s important to keep them moist throughout the winter. This generally isn’t a problem if your plant isn’t sheltered from winter precipitation. However, if you moved your pots under a covering, they shouldn’t be ignored.
When we say moist, we do not mean soaking wet. It’s important to water your plants infrequently and with a light hand. Check on your plant every few weeks or each month, feeling the soil with your fingers to get a sense of how wet it is. If the soil feels moist, skip watering. If it’s drying out, consider lightly watering again.
Avoid Fertilizing & Pruning
It’s natural for plant growth to slow down (or stop completely) in fall and winter for a good reason. Leafy new growth and soft stems are not tolerant of cold temperatures. They’re the first part of the plant to die once freezing temperatures hit. What does this have to do with fertilizing and pruning?
Both fertilizing and pruning encourage the development of new growth on plants (particularly, shrubs). Do not apply fertilizer after midsummer to allow your plant to naturally enter dormancy. If you’re planning on pruning or cutting back your plants, do so in early spring.