How do I protect plants in summer

Winter protection

Winter protection in the garden

The choice of suitable winter protection for the garden raises questions among amateur gardeners year after year: What winter protection do the plants need? Who is frost hardy and who is not? And what about the garden tools and the garden pond? Fortunately, most garden plants are very robust, so that a few simple steps are enough for winter protection. A layer of leaves or mulch between the plants is often enough. More extensive protection is recommended for freshly planted plants and for some sensitive species. Camellia, lavender and hemp palm, but also most roses and even young trees can only get through the cold season without damage if they have good winter protection. Garden ponds as well as tools and equipment should also be made winter-proof. We will show you an overview of the most important winter protection measures.

Listen now and get practical tips about winter protection

How do you get the plants in the garden and on the terrace or balcony undamaged through the winter? Karina Nennstiel and Folkert Siemens talk about this in this episode of our podcast "Green City People". Have a listen right now!

Recommended editorial content

Matching the content, you will find external content from Spotify here. Due to your tracking setting, the technical representation is not possible. By clicking on "Show content", you consent to external content from this service being displayed to you with immediate effect.

You can find information in our privacy policy. You can deactivate the activated functions via the privacy settings in the footer.

What does winter protection look like for roses?

When it comes to winter protection for roses, it is particularly important that the grafting point at the base of the bushes is protected from the effects of frost by piling up with soil or mulch, as this area is particularly sensitive. This is especially true for bed, hybrid and shrub roses. In the case of standard roses, the grafting point is below the crown, which is why the entire crown is usually protected with a fleece hood. In addition, the shoots of all roses can be shaded with fir branches.

In this video we will show you how to properly overwinter your roses

Credit: MSG / CreativeUnit / Camera: Fabian Heckle / Editor: Ralph Schank

Winter protection for young fruit trees

Young fruit trees with thin, smooth bark are prone to frost cracks. These so-called stress cracks occur when the winter sun warms up individual areas of the bark during frost and these areas then expand considerably. Frost cracks can be prevented with a white coating: the light shade reflects the sun's rays and thus prevents the bark from heating up too much.

How do you protect young ornamental trees in winter?

The bark of young ornamental trees also cracks easily in frost and strong sunlight. For aesthetic reasons, however, the ornamental garden is not painted white, but rather wrapped around the trunk with strips of jute or a cane mat. In an emergency, a simple wooden plank, which is simply leaned against the trunk in a south-easterly direction to provide shade, can prevent the worst.

Many actually hardy evergreen shrubs suffer from drought damage in frost and strong sunlight. Individual shoot tips suddenly turn brown because the warmed leaves evaporate water, but the roots cannot supply new water when the ground is frozen. This phenomenon is also called frost-dryness among gardeners. This can be remedied by a shading net that protects the leaves from the sun. Evergreen trees that are not reliably hardy anyway, such as camellias, the Mediterranean viburnum (Viburnum tinus) or the red loquat (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’), need more winter protection. With these plants, you should also protect the root area as large as possible with a 30 centimeter thick mulch cover so that the soil does not freeze too deep in longer periods of frost.

Winter protection for deciduous dwarf shrubs

Lavender, beard flower (Caryopteris) and especially the rockrose shed their leaves in autumn, but still freeze easily in cold winters. First and foremost, you are troubled by the winter wetness. In winter cold regions you should only plant these shrubs if your soil is very sandy and well drained. A mulch cover and shading with fir branches also offer relatively good winter protection.

We'll show you step by step how to get your lavender through the winter

Credit: MSG / CreativeUnit / Camera: Fabian Heckle / Editor: Ralph Schank

Winter protection for palm trees

The hemp palm (Trachycarpos fortunei) is the only palm species that has a good chance of survival in the garden in mild winter regions. However, its growth point at the end of the trunk, from which it sprouts new leaves, is very sensitive to moisture. It is best to tie up all the leaves and protect the heart itself with a cushion of straw, which is covered with a piece of foil on top. In severe frosts, it makes sense to additionally mulch the root area thickly and to wrap the trunk with fleece or a cane mat.

Winter protection for bulb flowers

Most bulb and bulbous plants are hardy and do not need protection. The most sensitive exceptions are dahlias: even in mild winters they hardly have a chance of experiencing next spring. They are therefore excavated as soon as the first night frosts come and the dahlias overwintered in boxes with a mixture of sand and humus, cold and frost-free in a dark room. Montbreti and gladioli, on the other hand, usually survive mild winters outdoors. All you need is a thick ground cover made of leaves or chopped bark.

Winter protection for rock garden plants

Evergreen rock garden shrubs from alpine regions are sensitive to frost. That sounds paradoxical at first, but there are good reasons: In their natural habitat in winter, the plants are protected from frost damage by a high blanket of snow. Because natural winter protection is lacking in most of the lowland regions, the entire rock garden should be covered with a synthetic fleece during cold frosts or individual frost-sensitive plants should be protected with fir branches or a layer of leaves.

Winter protection for ornamental grasses

Among the ornamental grasses, the pampas grass (Cortaderia) in particular is relatively sensitive - like the deciduous shrubs and the hemp palm, however, less to cold than to moisture. So that the heart of the plant does not suffer from moisture, the dried up tuft of leaves is tied together at the leaf tips. So the rainwater can run down on the outside. The Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) is also at risk of frost. Because of its small size, you can simply cover it with foliage, which is then stabilized with fir branches.

In order for pampas grass to survive the winter unscathed, it needs the right winter protection. In this video we show you how to do it

Credit: MSG / CreativeUnit / Camera: Fabian Heckle / Editor: Ralph Schank

Winter protection for container plants

Boxwood, Japanese maple and other hardy potted plants also need winter protection. Reason: The root ball of potted plants is not surrounded by protective soil, so frost can penetrate from the side. It is best to put the pot in a large wooden box that has been filled with bark mulch about ten centimeters high beforehand. The space between the bucket and the box wall is then also filled with bark mulch or leaves. Then you put the plant together with the box close to a house wall, where it is protected from heavy rainfall and cold easterly winds. A comfortable alternative are thick raffia mats, which are simply placed around the pots and fixed with a rope. In addition, you should use an insulating styrofoam plate as a coaster.

Winter protection in the herb and vegetable garden

Most kitchen herbs are completely hardy and do not need any special protection. Sensitive species such as rosemary should be covered with brushwood in winter or simply put an old wicker basket over them. In the case of sage, experience has shown that cutting back the soft shoot tips increases the frost resistance of the plants.

Rosemary is a popular Mediterranean herb. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean subshrub in our latitudes is quite sensitive to frost. In this video, gardening editor Dieke van Dieken shows you how to get your rosemary through the winter in the flower bed and in the pot on the terrace
MSG / camera + editing: CreativeUnit / Fabian Heckle

In the vegetable garden, there are some special winter protection measures that optimally prepare the vegetable patches for the coming season. Ideally, they will be done in late autumn. Depending on the garden soil, the soil should be deeply dug up and loosened every one to three years. Weeds are removed at the same time. If there are still late-stage vegetables such as kale or Swiss chard in the bed, a layer of mulch or some autumn leaves mixed with compost is applied as winter protection. Unused bedding areas are covered with leaves, straw, foil or fleece. Green manure is recommended on harvested vegetable patches.

Winter protection for the garden pond

When it comes to winter protection, the garden pond must not be forgotten, especially if it is a fish pond. The tasks at a glance:

  • Switch off the pond pump, let it run empty and store it
  • Take out the water filter
  • Store non-frost-proof fountains, gargoyles and the like
  • Remove autumn leaves and / or cover the garden pond with a pond net
  • Cut back aquatic plants
  • Thin out and cut back the edge plants
  • If necessary: ​​remove digested sludge
  • Insert the ice preventer in the fish pond

Winter protection for garden tools

Before the onset of winter, also think of gardening equipment and garden tools to prevent frost damage. External water pipes should be turned off and emptied so that they do not burst in frost. The metal parts of garden tools should be cleaned and greased well. And a drop of oil is good for the moving parts of garden or hedge trimmers.