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How to Prepare Plants & Containers for Winter

| Care, Video

As winter approaches, it’s time to start bringing in those less-hardy plants until it warms up again next spring. But what about those bulky containers that are too big and heavy to move in and out every year? In this video, I share how to prepare plants and containers to protect them throughout winter.

 

 

Plants in smaller containers can be moved indoors and ideally placed in front of bright, sunny windows. You can also move plants into a garage or basement where they will be protected from wind and freezing temperatures. There, they will go dormant or semi-dormant, and they will be good to go again in spring.

Containers full of soil that are left outdoors for the winter may collect water and then crack when the soil freezes and expands, putting outward pressure on the container walls. It’s a real shame to lose beautiful, often expensive pots this way — but it can be avoided. 

The reason containers crack is because they are rigid and can’t adapt to expanding contents. This can be overcome with bubble wrap. Starting with an empty container, line the inside with a couple of layers of bubble wrap, then fill with soil. The bubble wrap will provide the give and flexibility that the container alone does not have.

 

bubble wrap lining a planting container

Lining the inside of a container with bubble wrap before filling with soil will provide flexibility when the soil freezes in winter.

 

What steps do you take to prepare plants and pots for winter? Let us know in the comments below.

Links & Resources

Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below.

Episode 113: Designing Abundant Container Gardens: Pro Tips for Healthy Plants & Beautiful Combinations

joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!

joegardener Online Gardening Academy Master Seed Starting: Everything you need to know to start your own plants from seed — indoors and out. 

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*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, and Wild Alaskan Seafood Box. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp’l is the creator and “joe” behind joe gardener®. His lifetime passion and devotion to all things horticulture has led him to a long-time career as one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in organic gardening and sustainability. That is most evident in his role as host and creator of Emmy Award-winning Growing a Greener World®, a national green-living lifestyle series on PBS currently broadcasting in its tenth season. When he’s not working in his large, raised bed vegetable garden, he’s likely planting or digging something up, or spending time with his family on their organic farm just north of Atlanta, GA.

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