Potted plants are very susceptible to breaking under strong winds from 30 to 35 MPH. They just don’t have as strong branches and roots as the ones planted directly to the ground.
As a basic rule of thumb, the more domesticated a plant, the weaker it is (unless you have taken the steps to properly prune your plants or get them all shaped).
In this article, I am going to give you a complete guide on how to protect potted plants from wind (also in the easiest and most effortless ways).
Close Your Cold Frame Or Greenhouse
It’s time to close the door of your cold frame or greenhouse then seal it up if you begin seedlings in there.
A greenhouse is the best choice to protect your potted plants not only from pests and cold but also from strong winds, especially during storms or winter gusts. The only thing you should keep in mind is opening its door at appropriate times.
- During the summer
- After storms have passed or the danger of wind damage has gone
Repot Into Larger Containers
Choosing a larger container for your plant leads to two big advantages:
- Your plants can develop bigger, stronger roots to stay firmer in winds
- Larger containers offer better insulation than smaller ones.
Besides, they retain moisture in the soil far better during dry seasons, such as winter and summer.
The containers should have at least one inch in thickness for the best protection to the plant roots. But take note that hefty containers are commonly hard to move around once set up so you should make sure to choose the right spot for your plants beforehand.
If you can’t find a container featuring the desired weight for wind protection, just go for a lightweight one, then add a few inches of gravel at the bottom to increase the total weight.
The best choice is using round glass stones/rocks or marbles with a flat bottom.
In terms of small shrubs or plants, avoid picking hanging baskets if you’re living in an area with strong winds because aside from risks of falling off, they dry out faster than ground-level options.
For balcony gardens, if your balcony can accommodate a lot of weight, I highly recommend going for a bunch of hefty containers, then set them up a row with strong, high, woody plants. For example, rosemary, holly, and boxwood plants.
These are a great choice to diffuse strong winds in high areas.
Find The Right Place For Your Potted Plants
For outdoor potted plants, it is best to place them under a porch or next to your house as this helps block wind effectively from hitting your plants. Try to avoid sitting them:
- On steps
- On ledges
- In tiers
- Next to the edge of a porch
- In an open area
- Anything where they possibly fall off
If your area has strong winds in certain seasons, sit them temporarily in your garage if it still has some free space left.
Or, you can try setting pots directly next to each other; the closer, the better. If you have five, make a circle; four a square; and three a triangle. Use duct tape to secure them in place.
Secure Your Pots To Something Sturdier
There are lots of ways to secure your plant pots for better wind protection, such as:
If you have a wooden deck, wire saucers in place to it, then use hot-glue to secure your pots to these saucers
Attach your pots to a plank, then screw it into the floor
Drill small holes in the top of the pots, anchor them by zipping tying to the slats in your balcony. This solution is best for tall potted plants
Build/buy square or rectangular planter boxes that are attachable to the top rail of your balcony, then zip-tie them
Place shorter, heftier plants around the pot that is prone to fall off by strong winds
Install A Windscreen
This is a great solution for balcony gardens that have wind problems. It can be a wall or wooden trellis securely cemented or buried into the floor/ground. But make sure that yours has someplace to cement a windscreen.
Trust me, this addition helps to decrease wind speed efficiently.
Extra: Do stakes/trellis make your potted plants stronger in the wind?
The answer is no, if not saying that it will result in blown-over plants and broken stems. Stakes/trellis don’t train your potted plants to actually strengthen their stems, but just weaker.
Besides, a trellis might be time-taking if you don’t install it properly.
When tying it to a post or side railings of your balcony, if you use something like ropes or Jutes or some type of abrasive materials, your plants can actually cut and work themselves into the bark of the plant as they are swaying back and forth.
Once you damage the bark of your potted plants, they open them up to a whole world of troubles like pests and diseases that can get into the bark.
Grow Wind-Tolerant Plants
Stick to those plants with narrow leaves and wide bases if you’ve just set up your balcony garden because they originally come from arid climates.
For example, azaleas, holly, heather, bamboo, phlox, and ornamental grasses like mondo grass, penstemons, coreopsis, and Japanese anemone.
This is everything about how to protect potted plants from wind. Do you have any good ideas or workable solutions that I haven’t mentioned in this article yet? Kindly let me know in the section down below. Thanks for reading!