We often take great care to make our yards look awesome. Sometimes we do that for ourselves and other times we do that for others who might see them. Maybe it’s even a little bit of both. Unfortunately, we go to all of this effort but then the cold weather strikes and it does more harm than good.

Shrubs are not a plant that you can just bring inside for the winter. This means that they often are exposed to winter weather that can leave behind damage to shrubs.

Let’s take a quick look at how to recognize winter damage and what you can do about it.

What Causes Winter Damage to Shrubs?

There is more than one way that winter can wreak havoc on your shrubs. In fact, you can have a mild winter and still experience damage from the cold. This happens in warm climates that see little to no freezing temperatures just as much as hearty winters in other locations.

These are the main types of winter damage.

●     Desiccation

●     Frost

●     Sunscald

Desiccation is primarily caused by your shrub becoming dehydrated. Whether the shrub needs water or has lost water, it’s lacking moisture. Things like wind, dry air, and ice can quickly pull the moisture out of the shrub. The signs include dry brown leaves as well as the growth that appears shriveled.

Frost is more likely to damage growth. This might be leaves or new growth. The frost can be harsh on delicate parts of the shrub, leaving it to turn black or brown and even crisp.

Sunscald comes from sunlight exposure. It’s not the same as the summertime sun. The winter sun is brighter and strong on the shrub. This can lead to white damage on the shrub. However, it might also cause withering and brown spots.

Shrubs will be more susceptible to damage when they don’t get the chance to become dormant. However, winter simply works a number on them.

Winter Care

Winter is the time for your plants to be dormant. You can water your shrub on occasion to help it retain some moisture but you won’t want to do this a lot.

The best thing to do when you notice winter damage to shrubs is to simply let it be through the winter. Pruning shrubs in the winter might actually expose them to more harm and cause additional damage.

Simply let the plant experience the winter and plan to have some pruning done in the spring. While your shrub might look a little sad now, they typically recover well with proper spring care.

StreamLine Designs Shrub Care

When winter is over and you’re ready to have your shrubs cared for, we can help. We will be happy to prune your winter-damaged shrub when spring comes. In some cases, your shrub may need some additional care. Our experts can help get the shrub back to a healthy condition.

Don’t be alarmed by a little bit of winter damage. Shrubs typically recover well. Give it some time and let’s see how the spring goes.

Cold winters are the bane of plants. When temperatures drop below freezing, plants lose water through leaves and needles, which causes them to die. To keep your trees healthy again next summer, you need to know how to protect them.

Fortunately, there are many different tips you can implement right now. So try these tips for protecting your trees and shrubs from winter frost.

Tree Wraps

Tree wrapping is a highly-effective method that assists the trunks in maintaining warmth. You can use any number of materials to achieve this, from thick towels to cardboard. The goal is to wrap the trunk of your trees in the material.

You want to continue wrapping the trunk until your wrapping touches the first branches. And to ensure that your wrapping stays securely in place, use heavy-duty tape to tie everything together. You can also use a felt material or various kinds of insulation to help keep your trees warm and combat the effects of frost.

Take Your Potted Plant Indoors

If you live in an area where it experiences frost, bringing potted plants inside is the best way to protect them. But it’s not just during the winter months when you have to worry about your plants. There are other seasons that can be difficult for your plants, like early spring.

When you bring them inside before the frost, be sure to do so around dusk. Hanging baskets are an ideal place to transfer your potted plants. Ideally, you want your plant to be in an environment with a temperature range of 45°F to 75°F.

You also want an environment that has bright light but not too much sun exposure during the day so that they don’t dry out too quickly. These are all things that can be accommodated indoors.

Water in the Afternoon

In the wintertime, frost can damage your plants and trees. In order to avoid this, water your plants in the afternoon so that they have plenty of time to soak up water before nightfall.

To help keep your plants alive through winter, you can also create a ‘halo’ around your plant by planting taller plants around it. This, combined with a stringent watering cycle, can help your plants fight the effects of frost.

Keep in mind that when you water your plants, you want to make sure that the water penetrates about a foot or more deep. This will ensure that the water reaches the roots of the plants.

Don’t Forget to Mulch

Mulching gardens with leaves or compost and covering them with a row cover will also work to protect against cold winds and frost. The mulch acts as natural insulation to help keep your trees and shrubs safe from winter weather.

Apply a Cloche

This bell-shaped protective cover will give your shrubs the protection they need to stay safe and healthy. Often made from glass or plastic, cloches are ideal for your smaller plants, allowing them to stay warm in the cold winter months.