Garden Clearup - Tidy out the Greenhouse
Plants by Post

Do I need to water my pots & baskets in winter?


Now the nights are drawing in, and you never seem to be home in daylight, it's easy to forget about watering pots and hanging baskets in the garden.

It's true that containers won't need as much attention as during the summer, but winter winds can be very drying, and so particularly evergreens will need some additional water maybe once a month through the winter.  The most important thing to remember is to ensure that the roots don't sit in water, because the moisture will turn to ice, and if the compost freezes solid for long it kills the plants (from drought, ironically!).
Ensuring that any saucers used in the summer are removed, and that pots are drained by placing on bricks or pot feet, so that any excess moisture can run out.


these pot feet are available from crocus

Water before midday, so that plants have time to soak up the water before the daylight fades and the temperature decreases, and if possible avoid getting water on the plant leaves, just water the compost.

If watering in a greenhouse or poly tunnel, ensure that all doors and windows are open to ensure thorough ventilation, but close up before dark.

In the middle of the winter, it may be worth "lagging" your most precious pots with bubble wrap, or moving them to the lee of a house wall where the temperature will be several degrees higher than in the rest of the garden.


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thanks for this post -- any advice on plants in the conservatory? I kill plants in the house, but have to bring in the tenders that have been outside this summer -- pelargoniums, kalanchoe and crassula ovata. I hate to use pesticides but how can I be sure they're not bringing in baddies from the outside? And what to do about these little flies that have hitched a ride on the pelargoniums? any advice much appreciated!

Claire Brown

Oh, a whole new topic to blog about, but generally keep them on the dry side in the conservatory. - Yellow sticky traps are great for non pesticide insect hunting.


It depends on the zone you are located in. if snow is available... make a snowball.. place in container.. and let it melt when the temp indicates ... or the cold frozen water.. will melt when mother nature wants it to melt.. and that is when the soil will be able to allow some water into the soil ... and let it move around.. rather than you/us guessing when and how to do it ... and making an ice rink at root level ...

Claire Brown

Here in Surrey, Uk, we never get more than a couple of days snow each year, and i'd say never move snow, (unless it is about to break a tree branch) - The ice rink at root level is avoided by the raising of the pots.

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