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How to Protect Potted Plants from Frost

Even a hardy and well-prepared landscape can have trouble with the cold seasons we experience here in Maryland. So, how can you guard something isolated like a potted plant from the cold snaps and frigid nights? The team at Four Seasons Landscaping is here to tell you how!

The Challenges

Your beloved potted plants have to contend with a lot during the winter season, and some of the issues they face might surprise you. It’s more than just the cold weather! Potted plants are challenged by:

  • Temperature fluctuations – Of course the cold plays a role in this, but it’s less about the cold air and more about the air rapidly changing from cold, to cool, to nearly warm, and then back to frigid again. This variance is very dangerous to the roots of your plants!
  • Drying out – Rainfall isn’t very common during the fall and winter, and snow can’t really do the job. This places most potted plants in serious danger of drying out—doubly so because many homeowners are afraid to water during a cold snap (more on that later).  
  • Harsh wind – Heavy winds can uproot and bend potted plants, leaving them exposed to all of the worst the season has to offer.

The Simple Solutions

While the conditions might seem stacked against you, there’s actually plenty to be done to mitigate them and keep your plants safe. Start by doing these:

  • Give them plenty to drink – Though you might not expect it, sufficiently moist soil is actually much less dangerous for your potted plants, and even a bit of freezing is just fine. To avoid plants drying out, be sure to water them routinely, plus a bit extra on warmer days.
  • Add a thick mulch layer – A solid layer of mulch or straw adds a great barrier against the harsh weather and insulates your potted plants from both the rough winds and temperature fluctuations that can threaten them.
  • Move the potted plants – If an outbuilding isn’t an option, instead group your potted plants together near the walls of your home and on soil, not on concrete. Soil warms better and exposes the base of the pot to less chill.
  • Shield them – To reduce the risks of wind damage and help mitigate temperature variance, consider shielding your plants with one of a few things. Setting them near a retaining wall isn’t a bad option. During particularly bad weather, you can also consider covering them with large boxes or tented coverings (so that they don’t bend the foliage) during the evening. You can also go as far as literally burying the pot, but for most plants, that’s not necessary.

Winterization & Winter Landscaping Services in Maryland

The winter might be long, but you’ve got Four Seasons Landscaping on your side! If you need help winterizing this season or need some professional design-build services in Maryland we’re happy to help.

Contact us online or call (240) 252-4807 today!

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