Winter Potted Plants Outdoors

potted plants
Natural plants in pots, green garden on a balcony. Urban gardening, home planting. Basil and celery regrow.

Colder months can bring an abundance of problems for our outdoor potted plants. Whether it’s frost and below freezing temperatures, or rainy weather and less sunlight, our plants have to face it all. However, there are tips and tricks we can do as garden lovers to help our plants last through the harsh weather. 

Our green leafed friends can be complicated at times, and if you’re a novice to it all you may not know where to start. Check out our helpful blog article and learn how to help your container plants get through the winter.

Even though your landscape is less work in the fall and winter, there is still yard work to be done, like mowing and edging.

Which plants can stay outdoors? 

There are a number of trees, shrubs and flowers that can withstand the harsher temperatures. Knowing these plants means your garden can stay looking vibrant and lively all year round.

One cold hardy flower that does well in North Texas is the Christmas rose. This flower that will come back year after year and its white petals bring in the holiday season in a joyful manner. Christmas roses will do well in a pot that has enough space for long roots.

Another flower that will liven up your outdoor decor are pansies. They do great in containers and can survive a hard freeze. 

Dianthus are beautiful flowers that can tolerate light frosts, but will need some TLC if there is going to be a hard freeze.

If you’re after more vibrant tones for the winter, catmint and coneflowers are also good choices.

Winter Care Tips for Potted Plants

pansies in pot
Potted pansies
  • Move them, but avoid rapid temperature changes
  • Reduce watering and fertilizer
  • Choose big pots
  • Cover pots
  • Bury the pots
  • Move pots close together

Move them, but avoid rapid temperature changes

All potted plants need a helping hand to last through the season. A common way to help our container plants survive freezing temperatures is to move them.

Don’t bring them inside your home though. The temperature inside will be too drastic of a change from the outdoor temperature.

Instead move plants into your garage, shed or enclosed patio. If that is not an option, you can also move containers to the side of the house where they will at least be protected from harsh winds.

When you move plants back outside, place them on top of soil, not concrete. When the sun comes out, the concrete will warm up too quickly and damage the plants roots. 

Reduce watering and fertilizer

 A key step in getting plants through the winter season is to reduce the amount of water they receive. This is because during the winter your plants growth rate decreases, meaning they require less watering. Overwatering can be detrimental to your plant, causing them to rot.

Do not water plants when temperatures are below freezing. The water will freeze before it can get to the plants and if the soil is frozen, the water will also not reach plants.

Just like water, you can cut back on fertilizer during the winter. If your plant is naturally looking well, then you can skip the step completely. If some of your plants are looking a bit sad, then feeding them heavily diluted fertilizer will do the job.

Speaking of fertilizer, don’t forget about you lawn. In order to be lush and green, lawns require adequate weed control and fertilization.

Choose big pots

The bigger the pot, the more room the roots will have to grow and develop. Young, undeveloped root systems have a hard time surviving the cold. Older, stronger root systems will fare better. Another advantage to having a big pot is that there will be more soil, which will more thoroughly insulate the roots.

You can also nest pots and then insulate them. Place small pots inside larger pots and then stick some bubble wrap in the space between the two pots to keep roots warmer.

Whether it’s a plant that can tackle the cold or not, you should never repot your plant until the spring. This is because the colder months can drain a plant. The art of repotting is about timing – they need all the strength in the warmer months to do so as it can be tough on them.

Cover pots

cover plants
Potted evergreen shrubs that have been covered.

You have probably seen people cover in-ground plants before a freeze, but you can also cover container plants. The trick is that you don’t need to cover the entire plant. Wrap the actual pot with a blanket, sheet, or frost cloth. 

Remember, it is the root system of the plant that needs the most protection. When you cover a pot, you are trying to insulate the roots.

Bury the pots

Many plant enthusiasts choose to dig holes in the ground and place their pots inside the holes and then cover with soil or mulch. This method will definitely insulate your plants, but it is a lot of work.

Move pots close together

Place pots in a group close together. Their leaves will release humidity that will help them get through the freeze.

Wrapping Up

And that’s our go-to guide on how to keep your plants safe during the colder seasons. Remember, there’s always ways to keep your plant looking lively and to ensure that it withstands the weather. 

When spring arrives, consider installing new sod to really make your yard stand out.

It’s important to make sure you’re caring for your plants in the way they specifically need, so take time to learn what’s best for your plants. We hope your garden, greenhouse and container plants continue to grow beautifully.



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