The 7 Best Plant Covers for Winter Frost

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Preparing for the winter season is one of the primary tests in establishing a durable homestead. One element of preparation includes protecting your plants. Frost has a way of penetrating the roots of young plants, damaging them, and killing them before the upcoming spring.

Even if frost doesn’t reach the roots – some unhardened plants may shrivel up and die upon contact with the freezing weather. That’s why we’re about to brainstorm the best gear to help protect your plants – and to keep them safe.

Don’t want your plants to fall victim to overwhelming freezing deep in the winter? Have you tried many methods of covering your plants before winter hits, only to see those makeshift covers get blown away by the wind?

Then try these ideas!

Read More – Greenhouse Gardening In Winter – the Best Vegetables for Winter Gardens!

What Is the Best Plant Cover Material for the Winter?

winter roses in garden hotbed
I love this spunbond garden bed protecting a rose garden from the late autumn frosts. Perfect for wintering roses who dislike brisk winter breezes.

Burlap, plastic, polypropylene, or fleece covers are some of the best plant covers to use for the winter. To keep plants warm in your garden, you will need to buy products that will retain heat while blocking out severe weather conditions like blizzards, heavy rain, and the sudden cold snap.

Our Favorite Plant Covers for Winter!

We compiled a massive list of the best plant covers we could find. These are ideal for protecting vegetables, fruits, shrubs, baby trees – and more.

  1. The Planket Frost Protection Plant Cover
    $12.99 $10.87 ($0.38 / Sq Ft)

    Here's the best plant cover option if you don't want to spend much money - or deal with any fuss! The material is lightweight - yet durable. Protect your valuable crops from sleet, ice, rain, frost, and winds.

    Frost blankets are perfect for protecting garden plants, and the Planket is a prime example of a durable frost blanket.

    Whether it’s frost, sleet, snow, or tremendously cold winds, the Planket will protect your plants within a diameter of 6 feet. It has a built-in cinch cord that you can use to secure right up against plants and pots firmly.

    There is also a small hole located in the center of the Planket, which means you can also use it with hanging plants. Lightweight and made from spun-bonded, non-woven fabric, the Planket is breathable for plants no matter how you choose to cover them with it.

    The Planket is both easy to put on and to take off.

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    04/14/2024 05:21 am GMT
  2. Nuvue Products 22250 Frost Winter Snow and Ice Cover
    $39.99 $37.20

    This product made by Nuvue gives your plants optimum protection during the coldest winter days. These covers have a superior tear resistance, which means that no matter how gusty the winter winds are, these covers will endure.

    It's also tear-resistant and protects your plants from ice, frost, winds, insects, and snow. They also allow sunlight and oxygen to reach your plants.

    With the help of sturdy metal bars, you can install these covers within seconds. These covers repel freezing rain, heavy snow, and frost while enabling sun, air, and water penetration. There are four stakes to keep the protective covers pinned down to the ground.

    You can easily maintain shrubs and young plants insulated with these covers as they retain heat no matter how cold it gets outside. The plant covers measure 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide - and provide substantial protection.

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    04/14/2024 01:17 pm GMT
  3. Natural Jute Burlap Tree Protector Wraps

    Don't underestimate the efficiency of natural jute burlap for protecting your winter crops! Perfect for trees, shrubs, and plants.

    Burlap is a high-quality material that is thick enough to block out the freezing winter temperatures. If you try to grow fruit trees and establish an orchard, these burlap tree protector wraps can provide much-needed help.

    You can also apply these wraps in case a tree suffers minimal damage at any time of the year, and you can connect burlap wraps and cover plants as a blanket. This burlap material is breathable and moisture-proof, and a roll measures 7.87 inches in width and 9.8 feet in length.

    Burlap is easy to use when wrapping a tree, but it isn’t just effective for protective purposes. You can also use burlap wraps as wedding decors, gift bows, and various arts and crafts! 

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    04/15/2024 01:51 am GMT
  4. Tierra Garden Haxnicks Easy Fleece Tunnel Garden Cloche - Protect Plants from Harsh Weather

    If you have a raised bed garden of plants, you may need a cover that stretches over the entire scope of that bed. This tunnel plant cover would be ideal for a raised bed.

    This plant cover handles a large area - perfect for protecting your crops from wind, frost, snow, hail, et cetera.

    The best thing is, you can place this tunnel cover anywhere, either on the ground or upon a raised bed. 

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    04/14/2024 01:11 pm GMT
  5. SYITCUN Plant Covers Winter 15 Pack

    These adorable mini greenhouses are excellent for protecting your new transplants from a last-minute surprise frost. They also protect from annoying garden pests!

    Fabric cloths and tarps are surefire ways of protecting plants from severe cold weather, but what about firm protection from animals and insects?

    Plastic dome covers would be the best option. In this six-pack, you get an insulation cover design that serves as a miniature greenhouse, which keeps plants at a warm temperature throughout the winter.

    Also - check out the bell shape! The plastic cover has rotating air vents that are adjustable on top - that means that you can adjust how much air and water will circulate into the plant’s domain.

    The clear transparency of the plastic allows for light to penetrate the plant.

    The covers measure eight inches in diameter and 7 inches tall. These plastic covers offer a sturdiness that tarps can’t match. 

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We also want to go into much further detail describing our favorite methods to help cover your wintering plants.

We share our best ideas below!

Read More – Here’s How to Keep Chickens Warm In Winter! Even Without Electricity!

Alternate Methods of Covering Plants

rose stems shelter breathable cover
These recently pruned roses are preparing for an overnight frost. Thick yet breathable fleece can help cover and protect your plants from the chilly elements.

Blankets and tree wraps are helpful options for covering your plants and trees! But, what if you don’t have materials hand? There are alternative methods you can apply when covering plants for the winter.

Here are my favorite strategies to protect plants in my yard.

Empty Water Gallons

Remember those gallons of drinking water you pass by at the grocery store? Those plastic gallons come in handy for many reasons.

If you have young outdoor plants that need to tough it out through the winter cold, empty water gallons will provide enough protection.

Once emptied, you get a pair of scissors and cut the plastic container in half as best as you can. Discard the bottom half of the container and use the half with the exposed lid top.

Place that half directly over the young plant and make sure it is firmly in the ground. Then leave it alone. The gallon container serves as a dome of sorts, shielding the plant from frost. 

Empty Plastic Pots

Another effective way of covering plants for the winter is to use empty plastic pots for plants.

Instead of just letting those empty pots sit around in the garage, take them outside, flip them upside down and cover them directly over the young plants. It is that simple. 

Read More – 11 Easy Ways to Keep Farm Animals Warm In Winter!

Covering Winter Plants – Buyer’s Guide and FAQs

garden trees wrapped in fleece
Sometimes – it’s best to wait for an overnight frost to pass before planting your new tree or shrub! Keep an eye on your 10-day weather forecast!

Covering your prized plants and shrubs is a delicate matter, and you want to make sure you have the right kind of covers for them.

This buyer’s guide and FAQ section will hopefully give you the help you need in deciding which plant covers are best for your garden.

What Is the Best Covering for Plants In the Winter?

Materials such as burlap, plastic, polypropylene, and fleece have worked effectively as plant covers. Polyethylene is a wise alternative material. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are also excellent alternatives, especially if you don’t have any burlap or plastic on hand.

Should I Cover My Plants In the Winter?

If your plants aren’t windy hardy – then you need to cover them. Period!! If you don’t, the extreme cold temperatures (depending on where you live) will penetrate the roots of your plants and freeze them to death. The best-case scenario here is that your plants suffer considerable damage. If you’re lucky, they’re still salvageable for next spring.

Can You Use Garbage Bags to Cover Plants From Frost?

It may be your first inclination to grab a plastic trash bag and put it over your plant before winter begins. However, some plastic and vinyl materials are typically too thin to provide sufficient insolation for plants. In this case, plastic bags aren’t breathable, and moisture can easily get trapped inside. That moisture will end up freezing the plants inside should temperatures drop low enough.

Can You Use Cardboard Boxes to Protect Plants From Frost?

Yes! Cardboard boxes aren’t perfect – but they’re better than nothing. Cardboard boxes do not come into direct contact with the plant. When using a cardboard box, make sure it has 1 inch of clearance space between it and the plant on every side. Preferably place the cardboard box over the plant in the late afternoon hours while the sun is still present so that the inside of the box can get slightly warm before nighttime.

If you expect strong winds at night, pin the cardboard box down with heavy objects like bricks along its sides.

How Do I Protect My Plants From Late Spring Freeze?

Protecting plants from a late spring freeze is highly dependent on where in the world you live because weather patterns are different for everybody. For example, if you happen to live anywhere in the area of the Appalachian Mountains (where I live), you will get unique variable weather patterns. Sometimes a late spring frost occurs around Mother’s Day in May.

Regardless – the best tips for protecting your plants from this frost snap are easy! Try watering them thoroughly beforehand, covering them with lightweight fleece blankets and portions of mulch or straw, or covering them with a bucket (which I will explain in more depth later). Cold weather at any time will slow the growth of plants, but with proper protection, they can endure the frost.

Can I Leave Perennials In Pots Over the Winter?

Potted perennials work best in the spring and summer seasons with their beautiful colors! But, if you want to overwinter them, you will be facing some challenges. The best way to overwinter a perennial plant is to choose one that you know will be hardy in a pot or container. 

Here’s a rule of thumb to follow for a plant to be winter hardy in a pot. Aim for it to be at least two zones hardier than the climate zone of your area. The soil in the garden pot will freeze harder and thaw out quicker than soil in the ground, and any repetitive freeze and thaw cycles will be hard for plants.

In summary, you can leave perennials in pots over winter, but be prepared to monitor them throughout the season to make sure they don’t suddenly get hit by the cold.

At What Temperature Should You Cover Plants?

It depends upon the plant – but try to avoid frost if in doubt. Frost usually starts at roughly 32° Fahrenheit. A general rule of thumb to follow is that when temperatures start dipping into the 40s and 30s, you should start taking precautionary measures to cover your plants. Doing this well before it hits 32° is the best strategy.

What Plants Need Cover In the Winter?

Some of the following plants need to cover in the winter. Regardless of whether you want a beautiful flower garden or to start an orchard patch. Olive trees (Olea europaea) can have their foliage disfigured by cold winds and severe frosts. Pelargoniums, beautiful pink flowers, should be kept inside a frost-free greenhouse for the winter. If you have a large tree fern, you should wrap it up during winter.

Is It Best to Water Plants Before a Freeze?

It depends on when you water your plants and how much water you give them. A word of caution here; too much water can damage the roots of a plant and freeze its leaves. If a plant receives the right amount of water before a freeze, the pros outweigh the cons. If you decide to water your plants before the freeze arrives, do it as early in the day as possible, at the moment when the temperature reaches 40° Fahrenheit.

Water can act as an insulator for plant cells, protecting the plant-cell wall from freezing nighttime. I read an excellent guide from the University of Florida IFAS Extension that explains in further detail. From what I gather – water improves the soil’s ability to retain heat from the sun, therefore, insulating a plant’s roots.

Find the guide here: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn-and-garden/winter-plant-protection

calluna vulgaris and evergreen juniper in winter
This Calluna vulgaris and evergreen juniper don’t mind the frost – or the snow. But, not all plants are as hardy. Conduct research to figure out which plants need cover for surprise overnight frosts!

Read More – 20 Best Winter Pants for Outdoor Work for Men and Women!


The winter season is the most trying season to judge when it comes to the weather! When cold temperatures arrive, it is vital to know which materials you need to cover your plants and trees.

Remember to allow breathing space for your plants when protecting them, having enough of your preferred materials to cover them, and if the ground is dry.

Do not forget your first and last frost dates! They are a big clue as to when it is safe to transplant and begin this year’s garden.

Thanks for reading!

Do you have any insights for cold weather plants that we should know?

We would love to hear about your experience keeping plants safe in the winter.

We enjoy your stories and feedback.

Have a great day!

Read More – How Much Hay Should You Feed Your Cows in the Winter? This Much!

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