A few years ago, my In-laws bought some palm trees for their patio. They were gorgeous all summer! But, after a mild fall, we experienced one of the biggest winter snowstorms I can remember. And the palms I loved couldn’t weather the storm.
It was then that I learned (the hard way) the importance of protecting plants through winter.
Bloomin’ Easy® plants are not only selected for their unique beauty and easy care qualities, but are also chosen for cold hardiness, which means they can grow well and survive in colder climates like we have in Canada. Yet even still, plants can succumb to harsh weather conditions, especially when the temperatures go from mild to freezing very quickly.
For all plants you browse in the garden center, generally, as long as you follow the zone listed on the tag, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them over winter. But no matter what plants you’re trying to grow outdoors, here are some tips to protect your special plants for the winter.
Five easy tips to get ready for winter and a head start on spring:
Doing one final weeding is the best way to get rid of overwintering unwanted seeds in your garden. Be sure to put these plants, especially the seed heads, in a covered garbage can, and not your compost.
Some shrubs, perennials and trees might need a little prune after they’ve gone dormant. Do this especially if you have heavy snow or high wind that could break branches. For your Bloomin’ Easy plants, we recommend signing up for our plant specific Care Reminders so you will know when and how to prune your plant. Sign up is free and easy at mybloomineasy.com.
We try to have plants that are as hardy as we can find them. But feel free to add a burlap covering to your shrub if you live in an extremely cold, or windy area. This is especially true if you have one of the shrubs in a container on your patio. Plants in containers are not insulated like they are in the ground, so covering your shrub with burlap will give your plant that little bit of extra help your plant might need to overwinter. Another way you can insulate your container is by covering the container with snow (if your area gets enough of it).
Continue to water until the ground freezes
Plants will certainly use less water in the fall than in summer, but it’s important to continue to water regularly as needed if you don’t get a lot of rain. When the ground freezes, ice will form around the roots protecting them from extreme ground temperatures, so continue to water until winter arrives for good.
Add a layer of mulch
When you mulch your garden it helps moderate the rapid changes in temperatures so your plant’s roots aren’t freezing then thawing then freezing again. Head to your local garden centre and pick some up, you will not regret it!
A 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of your plants will insulate and protect from winter’s extremes. It will also help cut down on weeding and watering needs – a nice easy bonus.
How did my in-laws deal with their palm trees in 2019? When they planted the palms in the containers they started with bubble wrap wrapped on the inside of the container. And, now that we have hit freezing weather here in Vancouver, they have wrapped the palms with burlap.
Winterizing is easy and we know you can do it! With carefully chosen plants and a bit of care, you really can create the beautiful, relaxing, low-maintenance outdoor space you deserve.