Winter Thermals for Plants

Keep Jack Frost from nipping at our plants causing damage or worst-case scenario, death. Sometimes just a few extra degrees of protection can provide extra thermal protection for cold-sensitive plants. If plants are in easily-transported containers, move them to more protected spots in the garden or bring indoors where there is bright, indirect light until Old Man Winter departs. For plants in the ground, provide a protective blanket for their roots by adding a 4-6-inch layer of mulch around them out to their driplines (where the tree or shrub canopy extends, leaving a space of two inches directly around its trunk or main stem (excess moisture around the plant’s base can lead to rotting or disease problems).

  • Antitranspirants such as Cloud Cover or Wilt-Pruf helps reduce the stress of a frosty evening and moisture loss during periods of dry, winter winds.
  • Cover smaller plants with cardboard boxes overnight and remove during the warmer daylight hours. You can also drape cotton sheets and canvas tarps on stakes over plants, but don’t forget to remove them during the day.
  • Plastic sheeting is another option, but don’t allow the sheeting to touch the foliage or the leaves may freeze more readily.
  • String Christmas lights around plants for a festive approach.
  • Horticultural blankets such as Reemay insulate and keep out weeds, but allow light to filter through to the plant.