Jan 12, 2024 - News

How to protect plants from the cold

A sign outside a plant nursery says " Many of our outdoor plants have gone on vacation"

A sign at Ravenna Gardens during a cold snap. Photo: Erica Browne Grivas

While Seattle may not see snow this weekend, temperatures will still be low enough that your plants could need some help.

To nurse them through the cold, we asked local gardening expert and writer Erica Browne Grivas for advice.

What they're saying: Water plants well before the frost and surround the bases with leaves, evergreens or boughs to insulate them.

  • Move large containers against the house wall, especially under the eaves, as it's warmer there than in the open.
  • Bring in small containers or marginally tender potted plants, like geraniums and citrus.
  • Cover larger plants that are borderline hardy with permeable frost cloth, cotton fabric or even plastic for shorter periods of time.

If there is snow, brush it off plants once it's stopped, check for broken branches and prune if necessary.

Of note: Ravenna Gardens is holding an "Arctic Blast" sale on houseplants, tropicals and succulents.

Blossoms are sensitive to frost, even on cold-hardy plants like this Hamamelis cultivar at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Photo: Courtesy of Erica Browne Grivas

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