How to winter your plants properly

How to winter your plants properly

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You fell in love with one eucalyptus, a oleander, a mimosa, a lemon or one Olivier ? Here's how to pamper these plants during the cold season.

Chilly plants are mostly trees and shrubs, as well as some bedding plants. When buying, read the labels carefully to find out what temperatures they can withstand. Some, in not too cold regions, will be content with a few extra "clothes", others will need to be taken into the orangery.

Winterizing plants: the right actions

"Winter is preparing for autumn," advise Brigitte Lapouge-Déjean and Denis Pépin, authors of the Guide Terre Vivante - Developing and blooming your garden. Even before the cold weather arrives, from October, start to equip yourself: it is a question of gathering the necessary equipment to protect the roots, trunk and leaves from frost.

For the above ground plants, wrap their pot in a thick blanket and / or bubble wrap, or in a thick winter cover. Another possibility: bury the pot in the earth!

For the full-ground and above-ground plants, create a mulch at the foot: you have the choice between different materials: straw, peat, flax mulch, leathery leaves of plane tree, Holm oak or fromeléagnus, or even ferns or branches of conifers. "Ban already all water-retaining material (...). The right materials are and remain dry ”. Here is what these two specialists advise for the installation: “Place a few stones or pebbles around the stump to form aeration; above, the chosen material, in a well-ventilated layer, of about 5 cm. Above all, do not tamp. To wedge everything, you can add a square of wintering sail in single or double thickness, anchored to the ground by 4 stones ". And to add: "It is also very easy to protect small shrubs by covering them with an old jute or plastic bag, or with a wintering veil in polypropylene treated anti-UV, or even a simple cardboard box. 'packaging filled with wood chips: first gather the branches of the shrub to bind them and surround the whole, not forgetting the stump, covered with straw, hay or leaves, then thread the bag over, or wrap the plant in a roll of wintering veil that you will cut to the right size ”.

Orangery, winter garden: for the most fragile

Some large plants like bougainvillea, banana tree, oleander in winter, kumquat or abutilon would not tolerate a winter outdoors, nor a season in an overheated interior.

The solution ? Bring them in from mid-October in an orangery, or even a cool, light and airy cellar. As with outdoor plants, limit watering to the bare minimum to keep the roots intact.

And as soon as the temperatures rise again above 5 ° C, try to offer them a small outing while always keeping an eye on the weather.

Precautions for overwintering plants

"Snow protects certain plants such as perennials, it is rather the alternation of frost and thaw that is fatal, and very windy exposures", explains Brigitte Lapouge. However, “do not protect too early in autumn either because snails and slugs can then slip under the protections (…). Ideally, cover just before the ground freezes. During the winter, take advantage of a beautiful day to air out and shake it all up to remove moisture. And then… in the spring, remove the protection as soon as possible to warm the ground ”. Finally, you can also brush the trunks of young trees with clay to avoid cracks due to frost or the sudden alternation of freeze / thaw

For more advice, consult the book by Brigitte Lapouge-Déjean and Denis Pépin, Guide Terre Vivante - Aménager et fleurir son jardin, published by Terre Vivante, € 35.

Claire Lelong-Lehoang

Photo credits: Winter protection 1 and 2: © Hcast Fotolia Hiverscratch and winterzip: © Nortene

Video: How to Care for Winter House Plants (August 2022).