Posted on Dec 11, 2023 at 4:02 pm by James T
Spring, summer, and autumn seasons allow you to fully enjoy the plants on your balcony. However, with winter and the first frost, it is essential to take care of the most fragile plants that are sensitive to the cold, such as oleanders, citrus trees, and hibiscus.
Discover all our tips for protecting your balcony plants in winter using winter covers, mulch, or by sheltering them.
Table of Contents
1/Identify plants sensitive to frost
While some plants withstand the cold well, others are sensitive to temperature drops and frost. It is therefore essential to protect both the roots and the above-ground parts of non-hardy plants in winter.
Among the most frost-sensitive plants are tropical plants like banana trees and certain palm trees, Mediterranean plants such as oleanders and citrus trees, succulents and cacti, as well as more common plants like geraniums and dahlias. To preserve your geraniums in good health and enjoy their vibrant colors, it is essential to follow certain tips during their wintering on the balcony.
2/Implement suitable protections from the first frost
Potted plants are more vulnerable to cold than those planted in the ground because they have a limited volume of soil that exposes their roots more to the cold. To prepare your balcony plants to face winter without worries, some precautions should be taken from the first frost in October or November.
- Start by emptying the saucers of water and avoid watering during freezing periods, as water and humidity promote plant freezing in winter.
- Elevate your plants by placing the pots on wooden blocks or small wheeled trays, which also facilitate the movement of large heavy pots.
3/Use winter covers or suitable protections
To protect the pots, it is advisable to wrap them with bubble wrap or a blanket, secured with string. When the weather is mild, remember to ventilate the plants by removing part of the cover or opening the protection. Caution: do not use plastic to cover the above-ground parts of the plants, as it does not allow for proper air circulation.
4/Cover the ground with mulch
In order to protect the roots from the cold, you can also cover the ground with mulch, by depositing a thick layer of organic material at the base of your plants.
5/Bring certain plants indoors
Some very delicate plants cannot stay outside, even when protected. It is then necessary to bring them indoors in a greenhouse or an unheated conservatory, with a temperature around 10°C and well-lit. If you do not have this type of shelter, you can get a small greenhouse to install on your balcony to place your frost-sensitive plants.
Regarding watering in the winter period, it should be reduced to a minimum, as the plants are in a vegetative rest or slowed metabolism. Once the cold season is over, do not forget to remove the protections or take out your plants that have spent the winter indoors. By showing a little preparation and attention, you will ensure a worry-free winter for your plants and promote their good recovery as the beautiful days return.