8 vital steps to protect garden plants from winter weather and snow

Met Office issues snow and ice warnings across UK

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Here Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk offers his tips on looking after your garden during this chilly spell.

Temperatures have plummeted in the last week leaving us and our plants shivering. But what can you do to protect your garden or is it too late? It’s never too late – the key is to act fast and identify those plants that are vulnerable to below freezing temperatures and blankets of snow.

There are some really easy tips gardeners can follow and implement straight away like bubble wrapping, moving plants into the garage or shed and mulching. Just remember plants are made of strong stuff. Hardy plants may not look their best but will survive and bounce back in Spring.

How to protect plants during this cold weather

Bubble wrap

Gently covering delicate plants with bubble wrap can insulate the plant and keep it protected against some harsher weather. Covering the top of the soil with a wrap is a good idea too, as it will protect it from going through frequent periods of freezing and thawing.

Bring inside

When ice or frost is forecast, bring the tender plants inside. Somewhere unheated is best. Plants will hate being brought inside the home, as it will be too hot, but consider clearing out space in the shed or garage for them to live.

Buckets and flowerpots

For tender plants, try offering extra protection from the cold weather by placing an upturned bucket or flower pot over them.

Recycled plastic bottles

Individual plants can also be protected using homemade “mini cloches” made from plastic drink bottles. Simply cut the top and bottom before placing it around the plant. This should protect delicate leaves on young plants from chilly temperatures. You should try to remove these cloches each morning to ensure the air inside does not overheat and damage the plant.


Mulch can be made using organic matter like decaying leaves, bark, straw, or compost. Placing it around the roots of plants will help insulate and protect them from the cold, however, it only tends to work with hardier plants.

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Avoid the lawn

Try to avoid walking over the lawn during icy or snowy weather. Grass becomes more brittle during cold weather.

Don’t panic

If your plants do show signs of damage, don’t panic. Wait until the weather warms up and new shoots begin to come through before you start snipping. Prune out the damaged parts once you see the new growth.

Enjoy the beauty of winter

Do look for plants and seed heads that look amazing covered in frost, almost like works of art. Get out and enjoy the garden in winter.

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