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How to Protect Shrubs From Winter Damage

scientific plant service protect shrubs from winter damage

Learn what you can do to protect shrubs from winter damage this year and every year.

Shrubs are an important component of your landscape, providing visual structure and perhaps even colorful flowers and foliage throughout the year. However, the coldest months of the year can be challenging for your landscape – and shrubs are no exception. The sudden frigid blasts of air, inconsistent moisture, and hungry wildlife can all damage your shrubs and can have lasting effects. This is why it is always best to take time to protect your shrubs from winter damage before the worst weather arrives. Scientific Plant Service can help you choose the best protection for your shrubs. 

Plant Hardy Shrub Varieties

scientific plant service maryland plant hardiness zone map

The Maryland Plant Hardiness Zone Map (Source: USDA)

First, the best way to increase your shrubs’ chances of survival is to choose the plant species suited to your climate. Before planting, check your hardiness zone and other growing conditions needed so you can choose the best shrubs for your location. If you have a shrub that consistently struggles in winter, consider replacing it with a species more suited to your landscape. This will help you avoid winter damage to shrubs over the long term. 

Keep Your Plants Well-Watered

To protect the shrubs already planted, be sure to keep them well-watered. Healthy and hydrated plants have the best chance of surviving winter. Water your shrubs deeply in the fall, especially if moisture is scarce during the growing season. Supplemental water encourages strong root growth, which is the foundation of a healthy and robust plant. Apply enough water to moisten the soil eight to 10 inches below the surface each week until the ground freezes. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

scientific plant service virginia hardiness zone map

The Virginia Plant Hardiness Zone Map (Source: USDA)

Insulate Roots from Temperature Extremes

You can protect newly planted shrubs from winter damage by providing extra protection at the soil level. Snow naturally insulates the plant’s root zone and moderates soil temperature. However, to provide your own insulation, spread a two-inch layer of mulch around your shrubs to form a protective blanket. Shredded bark, straw, leaves, or compost are all practical choices. Do not allow mulch to pile up against the shrubs’ stem. 

Prevent Wildlife Damage

Hungry deer, rabbits, mice, and more can turn a shrub into their winter buffet when their other food sources are in short supply. One way to protect your shrubs from winter damage due to animals is by fencing, especially vulnerable plants. You can find different fencing materials based on the wildlife you want to keep at bay. Make sure your fence barrier extends at least 24 inches above the anticipated snow line. For extra protection, bury the bottom of the hardware cloth a few inches into the ground to prevent animals from burrowing underneath. 

Scientific Plant Service has a comprehensive deer repellent program to keep these larger animals from eating your shrubs.

Protect Shrubs From Winter Winds

Evergreen shrubs are especially vulnerable to drying winter winds. Gusts of freezing air can cause the shrub’s leaves or needles to lose water and turn brown. The water loss can be extreme enough to damage or kill a shrub. You can create a temporary windbreak around vulnerable plants. Scientific Plant Service can treat your sensitive evergreen shrubs with an anti-desiccant which prevents water loss from winter’s drying winds.

Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare

Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.

We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 8th, 2023 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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