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Wrapping Up For Winter

For those plants that you can't move into pots or sheltered areas during the winter, some of you may want to protect them from wrapping them with a material such as:

  • Fleece

  • Hessian

  • Bracken

  • Straw

  • Polystyrene

Wrap these plants & trees at the first signs of frost. Make sure you remove protective covers during long periods of mild weather and replace when the weather turns colder. This is to avoid sweating and possible rotting.

Wrapping Climbers

All these tender climbers are trained against warm walls to protect them, but an added benefit is to pack their lower stems with straw or bracken in the colder months:

This is held in place with fleece, netting or hessian wrapped around canes and secured with string, wire or garden twine.

Wrapping Shrubs

A list of shrubs and some borderline hardy plants that need protecting:

Smaller specimens can be protected by:

  1. Constructing a rigid frame or wigwam of bamboo canes around the plant.

  2. Packing around with bracken or straw.

  3. Covering with netting.

  4. Polythene and stones to secure down (as above image).

In wet periods, temporary waterproof cover should be added, wrapping clear polythene over the whole structure to prevent it getting wet and rotting.

Larger specimens can be surrounded with a 5-7.5cm (2-3in) layer of bracken or straw sandwiched between sheets of wire netting. A detachable lid can be placed on top in very severe conditions.

To secure shrubs growing against walls, pack straw or bracken behind and around the branches. You can also use a batten which can be fixed to the wall above the plant with fleece or netting suspended from it, hanging down like a drape over the plant. If you have a batten at the bottom of the drape, it allows the covering to be rolled up in mild weather.

Wrapping a Banana Plant

The principle is the same for any free-standing shrub or tree.

  • Dried bracken fronds

  • Straw

  • Old bits of timber for bamboo canes

  • Mesh wire for chicken wire

  • Tarpaulin and polythene sheeting.

Small plants can be kept in a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory during winter.

Avoiding Rot Problems

  • Remove any damp debris from the base of the plant

  • Pack the crown with plenty of dry materials (straw or dry bracken)

  • Ensure you have a waterproof cover


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