Posted on January 06, 2016

Caring for plants in the winter

If you’ve put time and energy into your patio garden you’ll want to make sure your plants make it through the winter. Planning and preparation are the keys to success. 

Some winter-hardy plants can remain outdoors. Sedum creepers and hostas do well in the cold, and you may be surprised to learn that peonies can also be left outdoors. However, winter brings stress to every plant, so proper attention is required to bring plants through the chilly season.

You need to shelter plants from frost, plus excessive dryness and moisture. Also, dead growth saps a plant’s much-needed energy, so be sure to remove dead leaves and buds immediately.

Shelter and protect
Wrap your pots in fleece or bubble wrap to prevent the soil from freezing, and cover the root area with straw or leaves to protect the plant from cold air. During the winter, it is best to have more soil than less.

Plants stay thirsty
During winter periods without frost – common in Vancouver – potted plants stay thirsty. You will need to water your plants often, especially on windy or sunny days. A lack of water can lead to dryness. Give plants water until it runs out of the bottom of the pots. One thing that is not required during winter is fertilizer.

Bring them in
Some garden plants do better if they are brought indoors during the colder months. Place them somewhere they can catch some scarce winter sunrays. Before bringing them in, check for insects and rinse them off. Plants will need time to adjust to the indoor temperature and humidity, so ease them inside by only bringing them indoors at night until you think they are ready for a more permanent move.