Protecting container plants in Winter

Hi, I've done a few new pots this year. Can you let me know which ones need what protection over winter? I've got bubble wrap and fleece on standby and if I get round to clearing the bramble out of the greenhouse I could use that too (although it's old and drafty- but I could bubble wrap it- and not in the greatest spot for getting light - put in an odd place by previous owner). Pots1: lavender Pot 2: camelia williamsii Debbie with brunnera Pot 3: camelia japonica alba simplex with brunnera Pots4: calluna Vulgaris (beauty ladies) Pot5: carex, viola, anemone Pot6: ophiopogon, viola, tulips and crocus Pot7: garlic (to be planted this weekend) Thanks all!


  • Sorry above not easy to read - I spaced it out as a list but on submission it's gone to one big paragraph.
  • Oh forgot:

    Pot8: very large pot of tulips with wallflowers on top.

    And soon to have: pot 9: apple tree (falstaff).

    Much apprec
  • Hey, I've got a "hot thread" from blathering on all by myself! image
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    From my experience only-and it depends on the size of the pot-but


    Tulips etc-no

    Carex viola etc-no

    Camelia -wouldn't have thought so

    Garlic-doesn't garlic need a cold spell?

    To be honest -you really only need to protect the plants in smaller pots from freezing-again how big are we talking about?

  • Camelia are in fairly big pots, so wouldn't have thought the roots would be touching the sides yet.

    Lavender small, say 10 inch diameter off top on my head

    Calluna- about 8 inch diam. They are in plastic pot inside ceramic, so thinking of putting bubble wrap in between for whole of winter. Think it'd be ok?

    Bulbs with viola and grass - about a foot diameter.

    I'll put them all into greenhouse if is snows to save them getting squashed.

    I've got one very small pot of tulips not mentioned above. Maybe that should be protected?
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    What part of the country is Broadland Supernoodle?

    Again -in my experience it takes a prolonged spell of cold to freeze a pot-a few days of daytime temperatures below or around zero-anything with a diameter of say8/10 inches should be fine-providing the plant itself is hardy.

    Some terracotta pots will crack- as might the ceramic

  • Norfolk. Not sure why it puts Broadland. Should be warmer than the North but we've had a few really cold winters. Eg last year it got to minus 15.

    Maybe I'll bubble wrap just to protect the pots!
  • The camellia are at my front door facing North so no problem with any sun, never mind early morning. image

    So I'lll get the camellia alba into the greenhouse with a fleece if it gets very cold and it's in flower. And Debbie in if it snows. And leave the rest apart from wrapping the more expensive terracotta pots to reduce chances of cracking.

    Thanks Verdun and Geoff. I was supposed to priorising working on the borders this year but got sidetracked with pots - quicker win! Don't want to lose them!
  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,032

    Agree that all your plants are hardy, if actually in the ground. Their roots are more vunerable to freezing when in pots.

    I do wrap all of my smaller pots that contain hardy, but permanent, plantings. That way I hope to have fewer cracked ones next spring. So any expensive pots, glazed or not, I'd wrap!

    You can buy fleece jackets for vunerable plants in pots if the pot is too big/heavy to move into shelter. That maybe an idea for the Camellia in case the pot is too heavy top easily move.

    What I have got to do asap is to put all of my pots onto potfeet, to prevent the pot getting too wet with winter rain & then freezing & that makes it more likely to crack & also damage the root system of the plants in it by waterlogging.

    BTW I grow all my Hostas in pots-16 at the last count- & dont wrap any of those. I just put the pots next to the house wall where they're more protected. I probably end up with 1 or 2 cracked ones most yrs, but they are never expensive ones. J.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,746

    Yes, the wind whistles across here straight from the Urals!!!

    Nevertheless most of those (except Camellia as stated above) will be fine outside - in fact they'll be much better outside than mollycoddled inside, unless the lavender is the more tender French type, and if so that might need some protection in the very coldest weather.

    If you raise your terracotta pots up off the ground on bricks (making sure you don't block the drainage holes) that'll help stop them freezing solid.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • Yep, pots are already up on bricks and bought some feet for the camellia last weekend. Fleece jacket might be a good idea as the camellia are heavy and it's a long way to the greenhouse. Could use it each year then. Will look into that.

    Lavender is munstead which I think is one of the more hardy.

    Does glazing in the pot make it less likely to crack?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,746

    Depends on the temperature it's been fired at - so unless you know that ........image

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
  • Strangely, nope! image

    Thanks all.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    We grow a huge number of things in pots, and find that it is far more the pot that you need to protect rather than the plants.  I had camellias in very large clay pots for several years untilt he very hard winter of a couple of winters ago - then lost them - well, it did get to -25 so not surprising really.

    I don't use bubble wrap because it catches water between the bubbles and these hold water which then freezes,  Newpaper, hessian, fleece, old curtains - whatever is absorbent and warm for the few that really do need it.  Of the list erhat you gave,  I would say all are fine outdoors - if it gets to below -15 then a bit of fleece will protect the pots.  We have 65 hostas in pots, and although we have lost the odd pot, rarely a hosta.  Tulips I regard as annuals now, plant now, enjoy in spring then do it again in autumn - daffs last longer but eventually give up in pots. 

    Clay pots will stand alot, but glazed ones will give up if there is any sort of crack in the glaze where water can get in & greeze = yjod eill then push the glaze off the pot. Plastic pots get bitterly cold, and I would rarely use them out of doors in the winter.  The new resin pots seem good, though I have not had a great deal of experience with them yet. 

  • Evening Verdun!

    Bookertoo, won't absorbent stuff like curtains hold water and freeze too? I guess the ideal stuff would be something waterproof and warm like hot water tank lagging - but that'd be expensive!

    My front door camelia pots are glazed - particularly don't want to lose those. Will make sure get something on them.

    I'd like to have a potted plum tree one day but I think you're supposed to protect them if not in ground in winter. Do you reckon some really good pot lagging would do the trick as its not the sort of thing I'd want to try to move into a greenhouse?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,746

    Whatabout old  synthetic duvets inside poly bags?

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in - Greek proverb 
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