Protecting your plants against winter damage can be a challenge. Rapid temperature drops following a brief winter thaw can weaken the plants during the winter or early spring season. Frost and ice from snow or freezing temperatures can result in leaf damage, dead twigs and branches in the spring. One of the best methods to protect your plants is using winter shrub covers.
Types of Shrub Covers
- Burlap Canvas – A traditional remedy for your shrubs and plants. Cover large areas and obscure shaped shrubs by creating a small tent with a few stakes and a fabric that breathes..
- Specialized Winter Shrub Covers – They are made of a synthetic fiber material that protects the shrubs from heavy snow build up, freezing rain and winds. The fiber material allows light penetration and air flow, critical for plant survival.
- Wooden Snow Covers – These are ideal for plants owners not as worried about the cold as much as having snow damage.
- Wood Mulch – Although wood mulch does not cover the green part of the plants, however it protects the roots against the severe freezing cold.
Steps to Protect your Shrubs
- Watering your shrubs throughout the fall, up until the ground freezes.
- Spread 4 inches of bark mulch or ground-up leaves around base of shrub to insulate the ground and protect the roots.
- Create a wind barrier by wrapping burlap around the stakes that outline the shrubs. Secure the burlap to the stakes with staples wire.
- To prevent drying leaves, spray an anti-desiccant onto the shrub’s leaves.
- Start applying the anti-desiccant once a month in November, and repeat one monthly throughout the winter. DO NOT spray anti-desiccant when temperatures are below 40 degrees.
- To protect shrubs from snow damage, tie up branches with jute twine.
- For new plantings, wrap the shrub in burlap and tie with twine for protection from both wind and snow.
One of the best ways to insure your shrubs chances of surviving a cold winter is to select plants that are suited to your climate. Check your hardiness zone when selecting shrubs, trees, and other plants. Plants better suited to these growing conditions are less likely to winter shrub covers for your location.