If you have a lot of plants, you had better prepare them to face the winter. We reveal five tricks to protect you from the cold.
Low temperatures, snow, and ice are not exactly the best allies of plants. The cold tends to affect the young tissues of the plants, such as the most tender leaves and buds since they are usually the most exposed. As a result, they can acquire a dark color in a few hours, which will end up affecting the production of the plant during the spring and summer.
The trunk and bark also suffer during winter, mainly due to sudden changes in temperature, which can cause quite deep vertical cracks. The roots, especially the most superficial ones, are also vulnerable. In fact, one of the main problems of plants in winter is that, due to the freezing of the soil, they cannot absorb water, so they end up suffering the same effects of drought and can die.
Five basic winter care for plants
- Pay them off before fall begins. If you live in a cold place, it is important that you fertilize the plants that are still active before the thermometers drop too low since this way they will be able to take full advantage of the nutrients. Ideally, you should use a long-lasting product.
- Put padding. An effective strategy to protect plants from the cold is to put mulch around them, which will protect the roots by keeping them at a slightly higher temperature than outdoors. You can form that padding with dry leaves, pine bark, or gravel.
- Cover the plants with a thermal cloth. If you have plants from hot climates, it is best to protect them with a thermal cloth by creating a kind of small greenhouse around them. There are very fine, almost transparent fabrics that allow the sun’s rays to pass through, but they raise the temperature between 3 and 5 degrees. If you live in a very cold area, you can put a double layer to give them extra protection. It is important that you know that covering the plants with plastic is not a good idea because when you do not sweat, you will have to uncover them regularly so that they are ventilated.
- Reduces irrigation. Although in winter the plants do not grow, it is necessary to water them so that they recover the humidity and obtain the nutrients they need. Gradually decrease the frequency of watering and remember that the ideal is to use warm water when the sun is hottest so that it penetrates the soil and does not freeze on the plants.
- Protect the pots. Potted plants often suffer more at low temperatures because they have very little soil. Ceramic or terracotta pots can also crack with sudden changes in temperature, so it will be better than the linings with cardboard or bubble wrap, leaving the drainage holes free. If you have multiple potted plants, you’d better group them in a more sheltered area, preferably near a wall. You can put the strongest plants on the outside and the weakest on the inside. This will also create a microclimate of temperature and humidity.