photo of snow-covered branches with three square images of plants and frost

Gardener’s Guide To Winter Plant Protection

As we say goodbye to summer and wait for the cold weather months to creep in, it’s time to start thinking about your plan for winter plant protection. Winterizing plants can help prevent freezing roots, damage, winter burn, and plant death so you can continue to watch your plants bloom year after year.

Fall is a great time to gather the last of your bounty and start the process of winterizing plants, and Organic Labs has just the tips you need for how to protect plants in winter.

Here’s How to Protect Plants in Winter

1. Cut Down Plants & Apply an Organic Pesticide

One of the most important winter plant protection actions you can take is the removal of some plants. By pulling weeds and annuals and trimming down perennials, you eliminate extra hiding places for plant diseases and insects to thrive in.

It also doesn’t hurt to follow up with an organic pesticide. For instance, the ORGANOCIDE® BEE SAFE 3-in-1 Organic Garden Spray is the only garden spray proven safe for bees, made without toxic synthetic chemicals for a clean, healthy garden that’s free of pests. Find it at your local home improvement store using our handy store locator tool!

2. Mulch

When it comes to winterizing plants, one of the easiest things you can do is mulch. Why? Because mulch helps insulate plants and plant roots, protecting them from the brutal effects of freezing and thawing water and shielding plants from that bitter winter chill. An organic mulch is formulated to break down over the winter months and into the spring, therefore helping supply nutrients to your plants that are eager to make their way out of “hibernation.”When adding mulch, you’ll want to aim for a three to five-inch layer. If you live in a very cold region, don’t be afraid to make this layer even thicker. Try to supplement the mulch with non-compacting natural materials like hay, straw, cornstalks, or chopped leaves.

3. Wrap Tree Trunks & Protect with Screens or Frames

Mulching and blanketing is a great tool for gardens and ornamentals, but when it comes to winter plant protection for trees and shrubs, you’re going to need a bit more prep work. While a thin layer of mulch will help insulate the ground where the roots lie, it’s simply not enough to protect them from harsh, bitter winter winds.

Winter burn is a common occurrence in evergreen trees like conifers and evergreens. If you plant winter burn-prone trees or shrubs in windy areas, they are likely going to suffer. To help them survive the winter months, add tree wrap and, for windy areas, a burlap screen. Before you do, be sure to prune your trees and shrubs to remove any visibly damaged twigs, branches, bark, and trim branches that will touch the ground when rain and snow weigh them down. For added protection of small trees and shrubs, we recommend covering the tops with burlap bags or another garden-approved plant cover.

How to Protect Potted Plants in Winter

Learning how to protect potted plants in winter is similar to protecting trees and shrubs. Most potted plants will not survive the cold winter temperatures and the freeze/thaw cycle on their own. To support them throughout the harsh winter months, we recommend bringing them indoors to get plenty of sunlight. If that is not an option, consider planting them in a larger container (more insulation!) and adding extra layers around the pot and the plant for added protection and warmth. For instance, you might try wrapping the pots in burlap and bubble wrap or covering them with lids.

How to Winterize Tropical Plants

When it comes to growing tropical plants in cold-weather climates, you have two options: treat them as annuals, or make dang sure you have a warm, supportive indoor environment from which they can cozy up to during the winter months.

If you choose to support them during the winter, be sure their transition is not too shocking. For instance, you won’t want to move your tropical plant that requires tons of sun into a partially sunny area of your home. Make sure you’ve got plenty of light before moving them indoors, and be sure to check and treat for pests before you do.

Protect Your Garden All-Year Long

At Organic Labs, we are dedicated to supporting gardens everywhere and their crops from pesky invaders using the only proven bee-safe products available today. Our mission is to help you grow and defend your garden full of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other ornamentals from falling victim to pests and disease.

Follow Organic Labs on Facebook and Instagram to see how our products are used in gardens across the country and learn how you can join the cause to Protect the Bees with Organic Pesticides on the Organic Labs Blog today!

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