Coping with the worst of winter

PUBLISHED: 13:20 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:20 16 January 2017

Colin Dale, Notcutts

Colin Dale, Notcutts


Harsh and unpredictable winter weather can cause havoc with your plants. Colin Dale, head of gardening and plants for Notcutts’ 18 nationwide garden centres, offers his expert advice to help your garden look great, whilst still protecting it from the January weather

1 Add some colour to your winter garden

Despite the shorter days, there are a few hardy winter plants that could brighten your garden this season. Try a winter heather such as Erica Darleyensis for a glorious purple haze, or try Hamamelis Witch Hazel or winter flowering Jasmine for a pop of sunshine yellow.

2 Move your pot plants

Plants grown permanently in containers are more vulnerable to freezing conditions. The pot can freeze up and prevent the plant from absorbing water. Move your pots into a greenhouse or against a house wall where they will get some reflected heat. Group your pots together and wrap them in bubble wrap or horticultural fleece for extra insulation and protection.

3 Wrap tender plants in the ground

If your new or tender plants can’t be dug up and potted in the greenhouse, make sure you wrap them carefully to protect from harsh weather. Put a windbreak around the plant or, for tender evergreens such as Cordyline Australis and tree ferns, surround with a layer of dry straw or bracken.

4 Don’t over prune or over feed

Don’t prune your plants too hard in the winter. If the tips of a plant die, the plant may stay alive lower down so it’s best to leave extra growth then tidy the plant in the spring.

Take care not to over feed too – use a balanced general fertilizer rather than one that is high in nitrogen. w

For more gardening advice and ideas from Notcutts, please visit

100 years of gardening

Notcutts, founded in 1897 by Roger Crompton Notcutt, celebrates 100 years in business this year. The company started in Woodbridge, where it still has its HQ and employs 120 people. Now in its fourth generation of family ownership it’s 100% owned by family shareholders, and operates 18 garden centres throughout England, each with their own local character, employing 1,300 all up. The company also has a portfolio of property, farmland and forestry interests.

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