JARS v59n1 - Winter Container Care For the Northwest Region

Winter Container Care For the Northwest Region
Kath Collier
Boring, Oregon

Reprinted from the Portland Chapter newsletter, Feb. 1994

Cold nights and warm days are cause for concern for folks who grow in containers. Plants that are normally very hardy in the soil may not make it through the winter. Exposed pots dry out quickly during the relatively warm, blustery days and lack the protection required to survive low night temperatures. Wind blowing containers around will prune the plants, but it's probably not the most effective method.
Tips for protecting your container plants include:
Temporarily planting the entire container in the ground for the winter. Don't forget it though - eventually the pot will cause root problems.
Keeping plants out of the wind and securing them by either double-potting the container in a heavier pot (or one weighed down by rocks), or even piling rocks beside the container.
Keeping containers, and perhaps even the surrounding area, well watered.
Covering containers or bringing them into a protected area if the weather gets suddenly cold. Weed cloth is a nice cover because both air and moisture will permeate it.
Keeping animals at bay - kittens may be tempted to use an unfrozen, unprotected pot when soil temperatures get low.