Gardeners’ World shares which plants need protecting over winter – ‘can take its toll’

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As the weather cools down and the rain picks up, tender plants can begin to suffer. Plants that thrive in the spring and summer can often struggle as the weather turns and temperatures become sub-zero. BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has said the damp and cold “can take their toll” on such plants, so they need protecting.

Protecting plants takes “little effort” but it can be hard to know exactly which ones need protection.

Gardeners’ World has shared a list of 10 plants that need protecting at this time of year from the cooler weather.

With just a layer of horticultural fleece, these plants can easily survive the winter:


These delicate plants with small white flowers look as though a slight gust of wind would send them falling.

However, according to Gardeners’ World, some species of African blue lilies are hardier than others.

Put spare ones in pots and wrap them in fleece in the winter until they become more hardy.

If they’re in the ground, mulch around them to protect their roots.


In southern areas, the hardier banana, Musa basjoo, would be fine in winter.

However, in colder areas and for more tender species such as Ensete ventricosum, these need to be lifted, potted up and put under glass.

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Cannas actually overwinter underground so a 10cm layer of mulch will help protect them from frost.

For very cold areas, these should be lifted, potted up and kept frost free.

They also don’t need a lot of water so don’t drown them.


The green ones and cream variegations should be tougher than the ones with red-tinted leaves.

Tie up the leaves in an upright bunch and then pop fleece around them.

Echium pininana

Found in Madeira and the Canary Islands, these plants like milder weather so need to be put in a sheltered spot and wrapped in a double layer of fleece in the winter.

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This will allow them to fully bloom next season.

Honey bush

Known for its blue and green foliage, these plants are exotic and sometimes produce red-brown flowers in milder areas.

Wrap the foliage in fleece so they are completely protected from frost.


Frost and cold winds are the enemy for olive plants.

Move small potted plants under glass for the winter and protect ones in the ground by using wind breaks and fleece.


These need to be kept in a frost-free greenhouse in the winter when they’re still young.

Undamaged plants in the ground need to be lifted, trimmed back, potted up and brought inside.

Pineapple lily

Move potted plants under glass in the winter or wrap pots in hessian and move them to a sheltered area.

Mulch over the top of planted bulbs.

Tree fern

Large tree ferns need to be wrapped up for the winter.

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