Winter is Coming! And, if you live in the northern half of the country, winter can damage your favorite garden accents. Today, I’m sharing five easy tips for winter stone planter care. Any piece that can hold water, snow, or ice, OR any piece that is placed directly on the ground, can be damaged by winter weather and freeze/thaw cycles. This includes things like planters, birdbaths, fountains, statues, and bench legs. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Tips for Winter Stone Planter Care
Ideally, any cast stone garden piece should be brought inside during the winter. However, if you can’t do this, there are several steps you can take to help your pieces make it through the winter.
Cast Stone Planters
If you plan to leave your cast stone planters outside throughout the winter, they should be raised off the ground. Placing two pieces of pressure treated wood under the planter is an easy way to do this, just be sure that the drainage hole is not blocked! Another way to raise your planters off the ground is to buy pot feet, small pieces that sit on the ground and lift the planter just an inch or two. Either of these options let the soil drain properly and make sure your planter won’t freeze to the ground! It is also recommended that drainage materials like small stones or terra cotta chips be placed at the bottom of a planter before it’s filled with soil.
If you plan to store your empty cast stone planter outside during the winter, you should turn it upside down and place it on wooden strips. You should cover it with burlap or another absorbent material (like an old blanket or towel), and wrap it in dark plastic. This helps prevent moisture from accumulating inside the planter.
Make sure that water does not accumulate inside any fountain bowl! Once water freezes and expands, it may cause cracks! I can’t tell you how many bird baths I’ve lost that way. If a fountain has to stay outside, be sure to remove all pumps, rubber stoppers, drain pipes, finials, and other small parts and store them inside. Cover the bowl(s) the same way I mentioned above. A fountain cover is another great way to help protect your outdoor fountain. Remember to check on your fountain regularly to make sure water is not accumulating inside.
Birdbaths, Benches, & Statuary
Any birdbath base, fountain base, or piece of statuary that rests on the ground is in danger of freezing to the ground over the harsh winter months. For this reason, be sure to raise these pieces off the ground using pieces of wood as described above.
Polyethylene planters are naturally resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations. While they can be left outside throughout the winter months, it is recommended that they also be raised off the ground just like a cast stone planter.
Glazed & Terra Cotta Planters
High quality terra cotta planters can be frost resistant, however, if any water or moisture gets into a pot, it can freeze and expand, cracking the piece it sits within. It is recommended that all glazed and terra cotta pieces be stored in a frost-free, covered area throughout the winter.