How to Keep Plants Warm in Winter
Table of Contents
- Written by Holly Hughes on June 03, 2022
You’ve been gifted a beautiful houseplant from Plants.com and you’ve spent all summer watching it grow luscious and large in the warm sun. However, now winter is setting in, you’re wondering how to keep it warm and thriving as temperatures drop and the sun disappears in the hibernating months.
It’s normal as the weather cools and our gardens and indoors become colder for plants to suffer. If you notice this happening with your shrubs, don’t worry. There are ways to revive a dying plant – check out our tips here.
But now, whether you’re wondering how to keep your houseplant warm indoors or how to tuck your veggie patch or flower beds in for a cozy winter season outside, this article has you covered. We’ll share with you the easiest and most effective ways to keep all kinds of shrubs cozy throughout the winter. Read on to find out more!
How to keep plants warm in winter outside
Check your zone
One preventative step you can take to keep plants warm in winter is to check your zone and ensure you choose plants that are suited to it. You want to make sure your shrubs, flowers, or vegetables are resistant to frost and so are less likely to give into hibernation or die off.
A bit of research into good cold weather plants can also save you lots of time and energy trying to keep your garden warm. Read our guide to some of the best cold weather shrubs here.
Cover your plants
Of course, the most natural step in keeping outdoor plants warm through the winter months is to cover them. What’s great about covering plants to preserve warmth is that it can be done inexpensively using things you already have in your house such as old sheets and blankets.
Simply drape them over your most sensitive plants each evening to keep them warm as the cold sets in and then remove the covers every morning as the sun warms the earth once more. To prevent your cover damaging stems or becoming too heavy on your plants, it’s a good idea to construct a protective structure around them to keep your cover lifted.
This structure can be as intricate as a trellis or cage or you can DIY it by propping up bamboo stems or other wooden poles to relieve any undue weight from your plants.
Bring them inside
If you have a lot of potted plants outdoors, bring them inside as the colder weather escalates. The warm interior of a home will keep them safe overnight and you can then bring them back outdoors each morning. Alternatively, you can do as you would for your raised bed plants and cover them in hemp, burlap, or jute sacks to keep them warm.
Using insulating materials like hay or bark mulch also works well. A couple of inches of either will create a natural insulating barrier that will retain your soil’s moisture and warmth, acting as a natural heater for plants in winter. Before you set down your insulation, be sure to water your plants as well-watered soil acts as a better insulator and so is ideal for keeping plants warm.
How to keep plants warm in winter inside
If you’ve wondered how to keep house plants warm in winter, here’s the solution. There are lots of ways to ensure a cozy environment for your indoor greenery, from indoor plant heaters to a secret refrigerator hack. Let’s take a look at some of them.
You will find the most common answer to ‘how to keep house plants warm in winter’ is a space heater. There are many different varieties to choose from, from fuel-based traditional models to electric, infrared, or oil-filled heaters. All will warm your shrubs, though electric is generally a good choice for safety.
It’s important to note that though they are very effective in ensuring plants stay warm, space heaters are a more expensive option. Particularly, when, depending on the size of your room, you might need more than one to warm plants properly.
Using plant appropriate heat lamps or a heating mat can also warm your greenery. Heat lamps not only exude a warmth, they also give your plant some extra light to keep it flourishing. Heating mats, though traditionally used for propagation purposes, also are good at ensuring warm environments for cold foliage.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best appliances to make sure your plants stay warm is actually a refrigerator or freezer. If one of these appliances gets lots of natural light, you can put your plants on top of it where they will soak up some of its warm radiation.
This is because both fridges and freezers expend an enormous amount of energy keeping our food cool and this escapes through the top, providing the ideal warm spot for cold houseplants. Alternatively, if looking for ways to keep flower bouquets fresher for longer (and why wouldn’t you if you’re getting a subscription from BloomsyBox or have treated yourself to a one-off showstopper from SendFlowers), the refrigerator again is the appliance to save the day. Ready why here.
Making sure your plants stay warm can be as simple as moving them to a different window ledge during the colder winter months. If you have a warm room that gets a lot of light, move your shrubs into this area.
The sunnier the spot, the better, so it’s usually best to choose rooms with east-facing windows which normally remain warm and sunny. Avoid north-facing windows as these won’t be as warm and don’t get enough sun in the winter months. If you have single-paned windows and live in a cold winter area, it is likely that your houseplants are too cold in this type of area.
An extra trick in your warming arsenal against the winter chill is bubble wrap. If you have single-paned windows or just live in a particularly cold area, you can either dress your plants in bubble wrap to stay warm or place some wrap between the plants and the window for extra warming insulation.
Warming your plants needn’t be the headache or heartache you imagine. With some simple preparation and a bit of TLC, you can keep both your indoor and outdoor plants alive, healthy, and warm during even the hardest frosts. So get out those bedsheets, bubble wrap heaters and prepare to stay warm!
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