What Plants Should Gardeners Water Before Winter?

Protect your perennials, trees and shrubs from winter damage and dehydration with these expert gardening tips.

holly bush with snowCourtesy Nancy MacDonald Uggla

Watering Before the Freeze

“We lost some bushes a few years ago because of a dry, cold winter. I was told we should have watered them. What plants should we water in winter?” asks Rebecca Williamson of Bushnell, Ill.

It’s true that many plants die from dehydration as well as cold winter temperatures. Continue to water trees, shrubs and perennials as needed as the weather cools. Water all of your plants thoroughly before the ground freezes.

Protect Plants With Mulch

Another way to give plants a boost and help them survive is with mulch. Cover the soil with organic materials such as twice-shredded bark, evergreen needles or shredded leaves.

Mulch conserves moisture and moderates soil temperatures. All plants benefit from such care, but new plantings, borderline hardy specimens and evergreens should be your first priority because they are most susceptible to winter damage.

Melinda Myers
Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, columnist and speaker.