Surviving Houston’s Frost: Tips for Winterizing Your Landscape

Hello, Houston Homeowners!

BRRRRRRRRRRR. It is that time of year again! We are lucky to have such temperate winters here in Houston- but there is always that one week that reminds us just how lucky we are. With the recent freeze warning, we wanted to provide some tips on how you can keep your plants and garden alive during these frosty times. From winterizing irrigation lines and fountains to how to cover shrubs and protect your plants, we got you covered.

Protect Your Plants:

When a freeze is imminent, it’s essential to cover your shrubs and other tender plants to prevent damage. Surprisingly, the key here is not as much about keeping out the cold as it is about retaining the warmth from the soil. Tarps and moving blankets are great choices. The harder the freeze, the thicker the material should be. One caveat to this- if you are using a non-porous material- make sure to remove during the daytime if temperatures rise above 32 degrees and replace during the evenings when the temperature dips back down below freezing. Non-porous materials can suffocate the plants, so this is important.

If high winds are expected, cover evergreen plants as well. Be sure to secure the coverings with stakes or heavy rocks to prevent them from blowing away. If you have a large garden, you can use a commercial blanket or tarp designed specifically for protecting plants during frosty weather. Make sure to cover your plants before sunset to trap as much warmth as possible.


During a freeze, avoid watering your plants as this will only make things worse. Instead, ensure your irrigation system is turned off during the freezing weather to avoid any potential damage. Make sure the water supply is shut off, open the pipes and pumps to drain, and wrap any exposed pipes with insulation. Remember to avoid turning on your irrigation system until the temperature reaches above freezing. These simple precautions will help safeguard your sprinkler system during the occasional chilly week in Houston.

Artificial Water Features:

If you have a fountain or any other artificial water feature in your garden, the best practice is to switch off all pumps and lights connected to the fountain before the temperature drops. This is very important to avoid any damage to the fountain or water feature. If you skip this step, the water can freeze and cause damage to the fountain’s internal structure.

Mulch is Your Friend:

Mulch can be a valuable ally in protecting your plants during frosty weather. When the temperatures drop, a layer of mulch acts as a cozy blanket for the soil, providing insulation and helping to retain heat. This is particularly beneficial for the roots of plants, as they are more sensitive to temperature changes than above-ground parts. Mulch also acts as a barrier, preventing rapid temperature fluctuations in the soil. It helps to conserve moisture, which is crucial during frosty conditions when plants may struggle with water uptake. By spreading a layer of mulch around your plants before the frost hits, you create a protective shield that contributes to the overall health and resilience of your landscape. It’s a simple and effective way to support your garden through the chilly times.

Choosing the Right Plants:

In Houston, choosing the right plants for your garden is vital. Opt for plants that are cold-tolerant and can withstand the freezing weather without getting damaged. Consider talking to a landscape design company to help select the right plants for your garden.

Inspect Your Garden Regularly:

Lastly, it’s essential to inspect your garden regularly to spot any signs of frost damage. Check for any damaged leaves, wilted stems, and discolored foliage. If you spot any of these signs, trim the affected parts immediately to prevent any further damage. Additionally, if the soil around your plants is too wet, it may cause root rot, so keep an eye out for this as well.

At the end of the day, when it comes to safeguarding your landscape from the effects of frost, proactive consideration of temperature fluctuations during the design and planning phase is always going to be the most impactful strategy. By factoring in the diverse conditions your landscape may face, you lay the foundations for resilience. Weatherproofing your landscape is not just about responding to winter’s chilly arrival- it is about preemptively integrating features and choices that can withstand all the Texas seasons.

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we specialize in creating resilient and visually captivating landscapes that can stand the test of all seasons. Connect with us today if you are interested in creating a landscape that not only weathers the frost but emerges with renewed vibrancy in every season. Your outdoor oasis awaits!

Stay warm out there, Houston!