Do you know how to protect balcony plants in winter? No? Here are the tips from Mondo del Giardino
Our beloved balconies! We looked after them with love in spring and summer, enjoying the fruits of our dedication and now we suffer thinking that perhaps we will lose some plants because we don’t know how to protect them.
Don’t worry, here we are by your side to fight the cold.
How to cover plants on the balcony in winter?
Let’s start from the basics: we need to protect the roots
First of all let’s say that the part at risk of freezing or suffering from the cold is not the aerial part, but the roots. It therefore follows that we must protect the vase and not the leaves and branches.
So if you think you have protected the potted plant by closing the foliage inside the non-woven fabric, you have not done so. Furthermore, covering the aerial part risks stopping the rain that waters the pot, also sending the plant into water distress.
In reality, you will find conflicting opinions regarding online air coverage. Magazines also suggest this type of coverage. So let’s clarify things a little.
Sometimes, in the garden, and therefore in the open ground, you may have planted an essence that is not exactly local and therefore fragile due to the cold. It could be a lemon that is semi evergreen. In this case the roots are already at maximum protection or become so with straw or mulch around the collar, but to avoid frost damage to the leaves too, non-woven fabric can be useful.
In a pot, however, what we have written applies and the non-woven fabric only makes sense if the plant is not protected by a corner particularly exposed to the freezing wind, and in any case the pot must mainly be protected.
But don’t plants go dormant in winter? Why and how should we deal with it?
We can already imagine your next question: but doesn’t the plant go dormant in winter? Deciduous plants, i.e. those that completely lose their leaves, go to rest. Evergreen or semi-evergreen plants are not, for this reason they must be watered regularly.
It is better to make another specification and that is to differentiate between the plants that are under water and those that are on the balcony, but indoors. Plants subjected to rain, if it rains, can be satisfied with that while the others must be watered.
A simple solution to cover the pots of our plants and protect the roots from the cold
Now that we know that vases need to be protected we need to understand how.
How to cover plants on the balcony in winter? What materials should you use to cover the pots? Is there a simple and perhaps economical solution?
Cardboard is an excellent insulator, both due to the type of material and because it creates an air chamber between the vase and the external temperature.
If you take a cardboard box the height of the vase and place it around it at a distance of about 5 cm you will obtain an excellent insulator for just a few euros.
We already hear you asking: but doesn’t cardboard get wet under water? Of course you won’t be able to use the same cardboard for more than one winter, but the material of the boxes is more resistant than you might think so it will resist the 3 months needed to protect the vases in the coldest period even if they get wet.
How can we improve the aesthetics of the cardboard we used to protect the vases?
If you have an elegant balcony or terrace, perhaps the idea of cardboard doesn’t satisfy you and we understand that. You can always cover it with an aesthetic film on the outside that covers the cardboard or use the “deterrents” which we will talk about later.
These first tips should allow you to resolve the issue quickly.
If, however, you are precise and want to delve deeper into the discussion, we will proceed with some more information.
Learn more about your plants: Do you know them well enough to take care of them?
You only buy plants at market exhibitions and not in the supermarket, you know the names of your plants, you have chosen the colors and flowering periods to always have something flowery or fragrant on the balcony or, you are just tired of seeing plants dying on your balcony? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are among those who want to find out more.
If you don’t know the names of the plants you have on your balcony, it’s time to learn it.
There are several applications that help you recognize the plant by photographing the leaf, this could help you as well as obtain the catalog of some important nursery in your area or a plant book. At the end of the article we will give you some names.
What is the point of knowing what plants you have on your balcony?
Because it also tells you what temperature it resists. If it gets to -10, you can be quite calm even if you don’t cover the pots, but if you have a plant that dies below zero, you know you have to cover at least that one.
How and when to prune your balcony plants
Pruning is carried out in winter. This is also why you need to know the name of your plant because each plant has different pruning periods depending on whether it flowers on the branch of the year or on that of previous years. Maybe you have never seen flowers on your plant for this reason.
You can find out everything about pruning and individual plants in the articles dedicated to this topic here
Cleaning and maintenance of balcony plants
Things perhaps less demanding, but equally important to protect your plants are removing dead leaves, perhaps using them as a cover for the soil in the pots, tying the shoots of climbing plants neatly onto the supports, bringing in permanently the succulents and orchids that you had brought outside in good weather keeping them in their pots.
Beloved balconies in winter: How can we beautify them?
Now that we have protected our pots and our beloved plants we can indulge in making our outdoor space beautiful to look at from behind the window or when arriving home from the street.
In fact, the surface of the vases, which is so flat and fixed, lends itself very well to being covered with imagination and creativity, also allowing the cardboard to be concealed.
Christmas: How to decorate the balcony for the Christmas holidays?
For example in December, once the cardboards have been inserted, you could cover them with festoons for the tree – green or glittering depending on your taste – make a village of gnomes, hang Christmas balls here and there, make red bows to hang rhythmically on the railing.
What to put on the balcony for the rest of the winter?
If, however, you want to decorate your balcony for the entire winter with non-Christmas decorations and accessories, we remind you that there are many materials that resist water and cold without problems: metal, plastic, water-repellent fabrics, fake flowers – which in the right situation are fun and original – glass, wood, berries, pine cones and then chestnuts, colored peels, cinnamon sticks, puppets and everything that inspires you to collect or buy.
Here are the promised books to recognize your plants:
or “L’Enciclopedia delle piante da giardino” illustrated ed. White Star
Now on horseback! Work awaits us! Our new wonderful outdoor space is about to be born!
GOOD WORK and … if you have any questions please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Image sources: for the photos we thank Pixabay and in particular Jim Black for the social image, Dagoberta for the cover, Kerstin Riemer, 12831137, congerdesign, 172619, Q K, Alfred Derks and 12019 for the closing. We also thank thegreenrevolution.it for the knitted tree.