How to Protect Outdoor Plants During a Freeze - plants wrapped for protection

You’ve invested in your landscape and want to enjoy it for as long as possible, so it’s important to know how to protect outdoor plants during a freeze so that you don’t lose them and have to start all over.

You actually don’t have to worry about all of your outdoor plants. Some are cold-hardy enough that a freeze won’t harm them.

But tender plants and young plants not well established, as well as plants in pots, tropical plants, and fruit trees may need proactive protection when temperatures drop below 32 degrees for an extended amount of time.

So, here are some things you can do to protect your outdoor plants during a freeze:


Applying a layer of dry mulch in your garden beds around the base of the plants can provide a barrier against the cold.


Wet soil will absorb more heat during the day and can provide an insulating effect. Watering should be done in the morning once the sun is up and should be moderate so that the soil is moist but not soggy.

Cover Overnight

For severe freezes or very delicate plants, consider covering the plants overnight. You can cover with sheets, towels, blankets, tarp, burlap, cardboard, or even place containers over the plants. You should cover plants before the temperature drops at night to trap the warmer daytime air, and remove the coverings in the morning to moderate the temperature.

Move Potted Plants

It’s best to move potted plants to a covered patio, to a more protected area of your yard, or even inside to protect them during a freeze.

Wrap Pots

If you can’t move your potted plants, the next best thing is to wrap the pots with sheets, towels, blankets, tarp, or cardboard to provide additional insulation.

Fruit Trees

Many of the same tactics mentioned above also apply to protecting fruit trees during a freeze. Mulching or watering the soil can protect the roots, while covering the trees overnight can protect new shoots and buds.

When covering fruit trees, you want to make sure the cover extends all the way to the ground and that it is held off the foliage as much as possible to avoid damage. The cover needs to be removed during the day so that sunlight and pollinators can get to the tree.

We’re Here to Help Protect Your Outdoor Plants During a Freeze

If you have additional questions or would like professional advice on how to protect your specific outdoor plants during a freeze, we invite you to get in touch with our team of experts here at Mike’s Evergreen. Contact us today.


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In the meantime, you may find these resources of additional interest:

Patio Covers, Pergolas, Arbors FAQs

Outdoor Kitchen FAQs

Outdoor Fireplaces and Firepits FAQs

Landscaping FAQs