Overwintering Plants: 4 Easy tips

plant in frost

Overwintering Plants: 4 Easy tips

Like humans, plants also feel cold. Extreme cold causes various diseases in plants, even may lead them to death! To protect plants in winter, the concept of overwintering comes. Do you know what it is?

What is overwintering?

Overwintering means taking care of your plants during the cold winter months so they can survive and grow again when it gets warmer. It’s like giving them a cozy blanket for winter!

For example, let’s say you have a beautiful rose bush in your garden. Roses don’t like the cold, so before winter comes, you might put a thick layer of straw or leaves around the base of the rose bush. This helps keep the roots warm and protected from freezing temperatures. That way, when spring arrives, your rose bush will be ready to bloom again.

Another way to overwinter plants is by bringing them inside your house. Imagine you have a potted plant, like a colorful geranium. Since geraniums don’t like cold weather either, you can bring the pot inside and put it near a sunny window. This way, it stays warm and gets enough light, so it doesn’t get too sad during the winter.

So, overwintering is all about looking after your plants when it’s cold outside. Just like you bundle up in a warm coat, your plants need a little extra care to stay happy and healthy until the sunshine comes back!

Now, lets move to a serious discussion- how you can overwinter your plants?

4 Easy Ways of Overwintering Your Plants

There are so many ways that will help you to protect your plants from cold and frost, which we are calling ”overwintering”. The most common and easiest methods of overwintering are-

  1. Bringing the plants indoor

You can simply bring your plants indoor, and thus can protect them from cold! Indoor protection is like inviting your plants to spend the winter inside your home where it’s warm and cozy.

Imagine you have a potted plant, like a colorful geranium. Before winter starts, you gently lift the pot and bring it indoors. Find a spot near a window where sunlight comes in. This way, your geranium can still get some sunlight and stay happy.

Inside, the temperature is much better for your plant. It won’t have to worry about freezing outside. You might need to water it a little less because it won’t be using as much water in the cooler indoor air.

snake plant
Bringing plant indoor in winter

2. Mulching

You can put some dry leaves covering the soil around your plants, or straw as like as we put warm clothes- this mulching!

Before winter arrives, you gather up some leaves or straw. Then you spread them around the bottom part of your plants, like putting a comfy layer on the ground.

This cozy blanket of leaves or straw does a few good things. It keeps the ground warm, so the roots of your plants don’t get too cold. It also stops the soil from drying out too fast, so your plants have enough water even though it’s not raining as much.

Plus, the mulch blanket protects the roots from harsh winds and frost. It’s like a shield that helps your plants stay healthy and strong until spring arrives.

Mulching plants with straw

3. Wrapping

You can also wrap your plants by thin polythene sheet. But wrapping is not recommended for all types of plants.

Wrapping is generally more suitable for shrubs, small trees, and plants that are not very cold-hardy.

Herbs, succulents, and cacti are often better suited to other methods of overwintering, like bringing them indoors or providing them with some extra insulation through mulching or hilling. These types of plants often have adaptations that help them handle colder conditions, but they might not need wrapping like more delicate plants do.

4. Pruning

Pruning is simply trimming away unnecessary parts of the plants. In winter, plants will face a tough time, right?

By trimming away the old stuff, the plant doesn’t have to waste energy on things that won’t grow anymore. Instead, it can save up energy to survive the cold months. Plus, getting rid of the dead parts helps prevent diseases from spreading.

pruning plant
Pruning plant


Now, will you prune all the plants?

The answer is easy. Plants with a lot of dead or weak branches, like some types of shrubs and bushes, will prefer pruning before winter arrives. But be careful not to trim too much, because some plants like to keep their branches for insulation! You can read about why and how to prune plants, if needed.

Hope your plant will not suffer any more in the cold. Have a nice winter!!

Tarek Siddiki Taki

Hi! This is Tarek Siddiki Taki, a plant science graduate, passionate about biotechnologies and their role in addressing environmental issues. I aim to contribute to the advancement of plant science, particularly in horticulture, climate, and gene behavior. I am dedicated to sharing my knowledge and insights with others through my writing and research.