Burlap: Protect Your Plants

You already know that plants will die if they can’t withstand the cold temperatures that come with winter. Uncovered plants can suffer from “winter burn,” which occurs with a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Some people use plastic to wrap their plants, but this actually constricts the airflow of your foliage. Instead, you should use burlap to protect your plants during winter months as it allows the plants to breathe, air can circulate, and heat is not trapped.

What plants need to be covered?

If you live somewhere with mild winter temperatures, you might be able to get away with a thin layer of mulch protecting your plants. Perennials often last, but need protection if they’re planted in poorly drained, soggy soil.

Newly planted trees and shrubs need covering for the first three winters.

Broadleaf evergreen shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons all require covering.

Potted plants are extremely susceptible to cold and need several burlap layers to effectively protect the roots.

How to Protect Your Plants With Burlap

Supplies:
-Wooden stakes (3-4/plant)
-Heavy twine
-Burlap
-Scissors/utility knife

Using stakes on any plant wrapped for winter protection is necessary to prevent molding. If a plant is wrapped without stakes, the fluctuating temperatures can cause mold. Using the stake method will keep the burlap from smooshing against the needles, and will prevent you from having the replace the trees come Spring due to molding.

  1. Place the stakes so they’re submerged about 4-5 inches into the ground.
  2. Using twine, tie the stakes together with secure knots.
  3. Wrap enough burlap around the stakes to create a double layer around the tree, shrub, or other plant.
  4. Secure the burlap wrap around the top of the stakes by using more twine.
  5. Cut away the remaining fabric.
  6. Take one more piece of twine and wrap it around the secured burlap to keep it in place.
  7. Tie the last bit of twine around the base of one of your stakes to secure the protective mechanism.

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