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A Guide to Overwintering Plants

October 19, 2023

Frosted plant


As the vibrant colours of fall fade, it’s essential to turn your attention to overwintering your plants for flourishing spring and summer blooms. Especially in northern climates, the frigid winter temperatures pose a significant threat to your cherished plants; however, with just a few tools and simple techniques, you can protect your garden and safeguard against winter conditions. 



berry plants with snow
So, What is Overwintering?

Overwintering protects plants during the cold winter season to help them survive and thrive once the warmer months return. Several tools and techniques may be required depending on your landscape.


Tools you may need:

  • Garden Gloves to protect your hands while handling plants and materials.
  • Mulch will help you layer and insulate the soil and plant roots.
  • Burlap or Frost Cloth materials provide protection against harsh freezing winds and frost.
  • Pruning Shears are useful for trimming and pruning back plants before winter.
  • Tree wraps are essential for young or tender trees while helping prevent damage from frost or harmful pests throughout winter.
  • Garden Twine or Stakes can support or tie down plants and wraps.
Techniques for Overwintering:

Mulch can be used as insulation to protect soil and roots from severe temperature changes. Before the ground freezes, add a thick layer of mulch around the plant base and ensure the crowns and roots are well-covered.


Burlap or Frost Cloth Wraps should be wrapped around plants by gently draping over shrubs and secured with stakes or twine. Ensure that it’s tight enough to allow for some air circulation. 


Pruning involves trimming branches to remove dead or diseased wood and shape the plant for visual interest. Trim in late fall with sharp and sterilized shears to encourage healthy growth in the spring. 

Final Tips for Successful Overwintering:
  • Start early; don’t wait until winter’s arrival; begin your preparations in late fall.
  • Know your plant’s hardiness zone relative to your growing location. Different plants have different tolerances for the cold and may require greater attention when winterizing.
  • Monitor moisture by watering your plants appropriately before the ground freezes. Hydrated plants are better equipped to survive the winter and flourish in the spring.
  • Keep an eye on your garden and periodically check your plants throughout the winter to ensure their protection remains effective and in place.
Other resources about Overwintering:

Read expert Sheridan tips about tidying the garden, fall planting, and protecting plants and trees in Winter Lawn and Garden Prep.


Learn about Preparing Roses and Hydrangeas for Winter.


With the right tools and techniques, your garden will flourish with blooms even after the coldest winter. Visit our eight garden centre locations for further expert tips and tools to protect your garden this winter.