Winter care for potted plants

For plants to survive the winter outdoors unharmed, they must be well prepared. Generally, only winter-hardy plants can remain outside in winter. For every plant, winter means stress. Winter protection for plants means that they are sheltered from frost, excessive dryness and too much moisture.

Firstly, dead leaves and buds should be removed from the plant. This prevents the plant from investing too much energy which it urgently needs for winter. Plants should generally not be fertilised in winter.

Covering the root area is important winter protection for all plants. Straw, bark mulch or autumn leaves help to make the plants winter-hardy. They protect the sensitive parts of the plant against cold air. In addition, the pots of winter-hardy tub plants must be wrapped. Fleece, coconut mats or bubble-wrap, which all prevent the soil freezing, are all suitable for this. Balcony plants should be protected with the same measures.

Plants in pots and tubs are very thirsty during frost-free periods, especially those which are under eaves. Evergreen plants constantly lose water in winter via the leaves. Especially on sunny days and in strong wind, more water is needed than is supplied by rain. Most plants react to the lack of water with wilted leaves. In winter, dry damage is frequently confused with freezing damage. How much water plants need in winter depends on the size of the container. When watered, you should ensure that the water runs out of the pot at the bottom. In the case of plants in large pots, ten litres may well be required. Due to the risk of frost, the flower pots should be placed on clay feet or wooden chocks.

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