Caring For Pond Plants Over Winter – Winterizing Water Plants
In this article, we’ll show you how to keep your pond plants alive in the winter by winterizing them.
Don’t know what that means, don’t worry we’ll explain that as well as how to winterize all types of plants that you might be using in your pond.
What Does Overwintering Pond Plants Mean?
Overwintering pond plants means preparing pond plants to live through the winter. It involves specific steps that you must take to protect the pond plants from harsh winter conditions that could lead to their death.
How to Winterize Pond Plants – Overwintering Your Water Garden Plants
Different plants are overwintered in different ways. You can’t attempt to overwinter all types of plants in the same way. We’ve put together a precise guide to help you winterize other plants in your garden and ensure that your beloved greens live through the winters.
Hardy Pond Plants
Hardy pond plants are the plants that will do just fine in winter. They don’t need much attention. That’s why they’re known as winder-hardy plants. However, to be sure that your hardy pond plants don’t get affected if the weather becomes too cold, there are specific steps that you should take.
Cut their foliage back and place them in the part of the pond that is the deepest. Then, there’s no need to go through the hassle of removing them from your pond.
Non-Hardy Pond Plants
If you’ve got non-hardy pond plants, that’s where you need to worry. These plants don’t take winters too well. You’ve got two options when dealing with non-hardy pond plants.
You can remove them from your pond and move them indoors to prevent them from freezing and thus, dying, or you can treat your non-hardy pond plants as annuals and compost them. They need to stay in water at a temperature of at least 18 degrees Celsius to survive. Then, you can move them back in spring.
If you’re planning to move your pond plants indoors, you should be done with the process before the first frost spell.
Growing tropical plants is all sweat and hard work, and you wouldn’t want them to die of frost. Therefore, there are multiple ways to overwinter tropical plants.
- You can dig the bulbs of your tropical plants and store them in a cool, dark place indoors. It would be best if you waited until the first frost hits before pulling the plant out from the soil.
Move the plant to a sheltered spot and allow the bulbs to dry. Brush off the remaining soil off the bulbs when they’re completely dry. Store the bulbs in a box and place them somewhere cool and dark. You can replant the bulbs when the growing season approaches.
- Another common way to overwinter your tropical plants is to move them indoors. Place the pot near a window that receives plenty of sunlight. But make sure the plant isn’t exposed to cold drafts.
- You can choose to allow the tropical plants to go dormant. For this, wait until the first frost spell. After the first frost spell has hit, cut the plants short by about 6 to 8 inches and then move the plant containers indoor.
- The spot where you keep these plants should be cool and dark. The temperature should be above the freezing point and below50 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the plants only sparingly, that too when the soil appears to be completely dry.
- You’ll see new growth when the plant comes out of dormancy and is ready to be replanted outdoors.
To overwinter submerged plants, immerse them in water completely. Any part of the plant that remains above the surface of the water will freeze and die. You can also cut the part of the submerged plants that over the surface of the water.
Another popular practice to overwinter submerged plants is moving them into aquariums indoors, protected from freezing temperatures and frost spells.
Trim any marginal plants that you’ve planted near your pond to the level of the pond so that no part is left outside the pond. Any amount that remains on the ground will freeze and die.
Things to Consider About Winter Plant Preparation
Below is a list of things that you should consider when preparing your plants for the winter season.
Pond Plant Hardiness Zones
Different regions fall under different hardiness zones. For example, a hardy plant for hardiness zone 5 may not be hardy in zone 4. So make sure you know what your hardiness zone is and whether or not the pond plants you have are hardy for your zone or not.
It’s important to know which gardening zone you’re in so that you can decide which plants will grow best in your region and whether or not they can survive through winters in your zone.
Deeper ponds don’t usually freeze. So if you know your pond depth, you’ll be better able to prepare for the upcoming winter season.
No Ice vs. Ice on the Pond
If there’s ice on the pond, dig holes to allow a free exchange of gasses. In ponds with no ice on the surface, plants have free access to oxygen, and waste gases don’t accumulate in the pond.
Trim Top Growth
If you’re planning to leave the plants in the pond for the winter, trim the top growth. Then, the part of the plant below the surface of the water will be protected from freezing.
Keep Them Green
You should know how to keep your pond plants green and protected from frost. It’s important to know which category your pond plants belong to and what’s the right way to overwinter them.
Keep Them Dormant
If your pond plants are non-hardy, tropical plants, you should allow them to go into dormancy in winter. Then, please place them in a cool and dark place and water them sparingly when the soil dries completely.
Use Native Species
It’s best to use native species if you want your garden and pond plants to thrive in winter. Native plants are more suited to your region’s climatic conditions.
Keep Them Indoors
If your plants aren’t hardy for your region, you should consider moving them indoors for the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will pond plants survive winter?
Yes. Pond plants can survive winter if you overwinter them at the right time and the right way.
What happens to pond plants in the winter?
When the weather becomes too cold for pond plants, they freeze. If your pond is fully frozen, you can’t keep your plants from freezing. However, if it’s only the surface, only the part exposed to the air will freeze.
If the top of your pond freezes, the pond plants will suffer and die due to lack of oxygen and accumulation of waste gases in the pond.
Do pond plants come back every year?
If the pond plants freeze, they die, and there’s no way they can come back. However, overwintering them on time will survive and resume new growth when the growing season approaches.