How To Plant A Winter Container

How To Plant A Winter Container

Planting during the winter or having plants grow through the winter is actually very possible. Look past the freezing and windy and harsh weather to beautiful green plants blossoming with colors.

Regions where there are warmer climate tend to have a much more welcoming planting season during the winter.

No matter how cold it is, there are some measures to follow through this period to have some pots that can still help you grow your plants..

Winter Containers

It is no secret that there are some containers that are preferable to use for planting during the winter.

These containers have been tested and have proven very useful in growing plants.
Those are the kind of pots you need. These pots are pots that can be left indoor or outdoor when its cold.

1# Terra cotta pots

Terracotta pots are mostly prefer indoor during the winter. They should be kept in environment where the temperature is not overtly dropped.

Another solution to making a terracotta pot solid during the winter is wrapping it in bubble wraps or using a geotextile blankets/ an old blanket to wrap around the pot itself leaving the plants exposed.

During the winter, you can also raise them from the soil with another container or any form of an elevator.

To protect your pot, you can treat them with pool paint or use insulated covers on it before planting.

2# Ceramic pots

Just like terracotta pots, it is advisable to wrap the ceramic pots too. This helps trap heat in the soil and avoid situations where they can easily crack due to some impact.

Likewise, you should also elevate them to prevent them from being stuck in ice to the soil. If you decide to take them indoor, you can just simply keep them on a shelf.

Steps to planting in a winter container


Clean your pots with soap and water to get rid of insects, insect eggs, diseases that may have found their way to the pot where kept or from previous usage.

If it was a previously used pot, remove the old soil in it along with the dead, withered or old plant along with it.

Most of the nutrients in the soil may have been washed so it is important to start afresh with a new soil to support the growth or transplant of a new plant.


Bigger pots are more better to use. A pot that your plant can grow twice its size in is a great way to measure for a start.

Most especially during winter, get a pot that is big because the more soil there is, the more protected the roots of the plants will be.

It is mostly said that plants are dormant during the winter. Note that, as regards this, the flowers go dormant, while the root still stays active.

The size as well as the thickness of the pots matter. Thick pots should be used (1-2 inches thick), or best, a pot than can handle an environment twice cooler than yours.


Plant early. Do not plant when the temperature has dropped. Instead, plant before the winter starts or in early winter.

It is necessary that the roots of the plant becomes mature and has found its place right before they become inactive for the rest of the winter.

Prepare your pots with soil and organic compost prior to planting. After planting, place the pots in the northeast positions (indoors) or find a shady place (outdoor) where they can receive a controlled penetration of sun.


Watering during the winter is another milestone to overcome. Root rot is very possible even in cold weather.

Ensure that you have created a drainage system for your pots before planting. Water may dry out but that does not require you to over wet.

If you want to wet, wet in the afternoons when the weather is warmer or less cooler during the day. Watering is very important to help your plants’ active roots.

Overwintering your pots and plants

There are different ways to winterize your pots. You can work with wrapping the pots, adding mulch around the pots,

multiple planting in a pot or grouping two or more pots together, moving your pots indoor, place pots with plants in an empty pot, covering plants and pots together in very low temperatures etc.

For best outdoor potted plants that survive winter, check our article about outside potted plants that survive winter here.


  1. University Research on Winter Growing of Container-Grown Strawberries Translates to Grower’s Farm Trial
  2. Management of Container Nursery Plant Material During Cold Weather