Livening up your front porch or any patio space is largely achieved through patio plants. Choosing the right plants, however, is what can make your patio stand out as a focal point within your home’s overall curb appeal. Patios can be an extension of our home design, and welcoming our guests starts there.
While many homeowners choose to adorn their patios with beautiful potted plants, some container plants can become an issue when the weather turns cooler.
It’s important to maintain a level of consistency with your patio plants, and it can be difficult to do so when having to change them out by the time a new season rolls around.
We believe container gardening can be an attainable hobby by choosing year-round patio plants that are winter-friendly and can withstand the cold.
Protecting Patio Plants in the Winter
Before we get into which plants are best for the patio year-round, let’s dig into some tips for protecting your potted plants when the temperature drops. The threat of pots shattering or plants freezing looms in the winter, but there are steps we can take to prevent these gardening atrocities.
Mulching the containers with hay, bark, leaves or straw can mimic insulation of the natural earth and protect the plants from harsh weather.
If temperatures drop significantly in your region, wrapping the container in bubble wrap before mulching can provide extra protection. If you’re especially worried about your favorite patio plants, or preparing for a colder winter than usual, take them indoors until the winter chill subsides.
Try to avoid new growth that won’t survive winter by stopping fertilizing in the fall, about six weeks before the first winter frost. Watering is still a necessity, which can be done up until the soil freezes.
Lastly, use potting soil meant for containers to give your plants the nutrients they need when living exclusively in a container.
Choosing the Right Container or Pot for Your Winter-Friendly Patio Plants
Next item on the checklist for successful patio plants year-round is choosing the right container or pot. A highly durable, weather resistant container is your best bet for healthy year-round patio plants.
The pot must also have a hole at the bottom for proper drainage. The following materials are great examples of weather-resistant containers:
- Heavy Plastic
Remember, clay materials like terra cotta will absorb moisture, meaning they can crack when the temperature gets too cold. Also be careful with concrete pots, which can withstand cold weather but can also shatter if rain or snow gets into the cracks.
Year-Round Patio Plants that are Winter-Friendly
Now that we’re familiar with winterizing your patio plants and choosing the right container for them, we can share some ideas on the best year-round patio plants that are winter-friendly. Below are some examples of plants that have the ability to withstand the winter months if taken care of properly.
Winter-Friendly Plants Include:
- Boxwood Hedge
- Cypress Topiary
- Brown’s Yew
- English Boxwood
- Red-Twig Dogwood
- Blue-Star Juniper
- Emerald Arborvitae
- Japanese Pieris
- Golden Sword Yucca
- Golden Creeping Jenny
- Green Mountain Boxwood
- Fuldaglut Sedum
- Picea abies ‘Pusch’
- Goldthread Cypress
- Variegated Boxwood
- Little Giant Dwarf Arborvitae
- Blue Spruce
- Lamb’s Ear
Winter-Friendly Patio Plants Conclusion
The winter doesn’t have to dictate your patio plants! By making wise choices, your patio garden can flourish all-year round. Patios are an extension of our homes and the first thing guests see when they walk up to your front door.
By choosing winter-friendly patio plants and taking care of them properly, your patio can look great each day of the year.
Search for any of the above plants on Garden Savvy’s gardening database. Find & compare the world’s best garden suppliers for vegetable seeds, flower seeds or the above mentioned year-round patio plants.