Nothing says winter more than snow and frost on your garden plants however, whilst this is beautiful to look at it can really damage plant growth and kill fragile flowers.

Frost in particular can cause the water in plant cells to freeze causing the flower to become limp, lifeless, black and distorted. These frost problems are usually made even worse when the flowers are facing the morning sun as this causes them to defrost quickly and damages the cell wall.

Even hardy plants can suffer during the winter when the soil becomes frozen as the roots are unable to reach any water and therefore die of dehydration.

Damage control

There are a few ways you can minimise damage caused to your plants this winter:

  • Try to avoid golden plant varieties as they are often more fragile
  • Choose plants that are hardy during the winter
  • Try to avoid high nitrogen fertilisers as they encourage plants to grow a lot of leaves and this can be particularly dangerous during winter
  • Ensure that all fragile plants are planted in a pot and not on the ground
  • Remember to leave the old growth of fragile plants alone; do not prune them as this will protect them during the cold weather

Protect your plants

Many plants used in gardens are often fragile and tender and therefore it is important to try to protect them against the cold weather as much as possible:

  • Plants that are often trained against walls can be protected with a fleece covered frame
  • All evergreen plants will benefit extensively from a large amount of mulch around their base to keep the soil from freezing. This will prevent them from dying of dehydration
  • Fragile plants should be planted in pots and taken inside during the winter
  • It is important to protect the crowns of trees; you can do this by wrapping them in layers of fleece or straw
  • Low growing plants can be protected by a sheet of glass over them to ensure drainage
  • When choosing outdoor containers ensure you get frost proof ones to prevent them from cracking during the cold weather

Dealing with the snow

Believe it or not there is a benefit to snow on your plants; it acts as an insulator by protecting the plants from the frost and cold. However, a large amount of snow can cause leaves and branches to break so it is important to follow these steps:

  • Shake excess snow from the plants leaves or branches to prevent them from becoming distorted
  • Remove large amounts of snow from the roof of greenhouses to allow sunlight in
  • Avoid walking on snow covered grass as it can extremely damage the turf underneath

If you need help choosing which flowers to plant this winter then can help.

Featured image:
Lily Calyx

Lily Calyx is a flower expert at, a gardening enthusiast and creative mind behind this blog. Join me on floral adventures at Pollen Nation.

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