Winter protection for your plants and shrubs

Fall temperatures are slowly turning colder as the days go by and with that temperature drop you need to protect your plants and shrubs from the winter conditions.

Before you start protecting all your plants from the winter conditions, you need to know their hardiness zone. The hardiness indication will tell you if your plants and shrubs need to be protected against winter conditions or not. The smaller the number, the more resistant it will be. Be sure to effectively protect seedlings and shrubs with permanent leaves. Still too fragile, seedlings will need help to withstand winter conditions.


The best time to protect your plants and shrubs from the winter conditions

It is best to wait after the first freezing temperature to protect the plants and shrubs from winter conditions. Some shrubs need to be exposed to temperatures between 0˚ and 10˚ Celsius to let the lignification process begins. Late November is usually the ideal time to protect plants and shrubs. The freezing period may differ from year to year, so the best time to protect plants and shrubs can range from mid-November to early December.


Why do plants and shrubs need to be protected during winter?

  • To protect plants in your landscape with a high index of hardiness
  • To prevent plants from being damaged by winter de-icing products
  • To protect trees, plants, and shrubs that are in a wind corridor
  • To prevent plants from being damaged or crushed under the weight of snow or ice
  • To protect them from snow pushed or blown during the snow removal process


The different kinds of winter conditions’ protection for your plants and shrubs

Several types of protection exist and they each have specific functionalities. Mulch, protective tarp (ideally white to avoid a temperature fluctuation due to the reflection of the sun on the colored one), ridging, plastic spirals, jute, portable greenhouses, snow fences and many other options might be used.

A distinct protection against winter conditions for every type of plants:

- Shrubs: A spiral pipe is usually installed to protect the stem from snow and rodents. A tutor for small trees and shrubs can also be used. You must wait until the leaves fall to tie the branches and surround them with jute or protective tarp.

- Conifers: They are generally strong enough to spend the winter without much protection, simply water them until the period of complete ground frost to face the dry winter climate.

- The lawn: A protective tarp can be installed at the curb to protect it against de-icing products that are spread on the roads during winter.

- Perennials: Avoid cutting branches in the fall, the ones that freeze and that are above the roots will act as a natural protection for the plant. You can then remove these branches in the following spring.

- Potted plants: Potted plants generally cannot withstand winter conditions and must be brought indoors. Make sure to get rid of dead branches, dead leaves, insects, etc. before bringing them in for the winter.


Seedlings, plants, and shrubs close to their hardiness zone as well as those that have not yet acclimatized to cold temperatures must be protected from winter conditions. Contact Mirage Canada for the Autumn care of your landscaping.