Planters That Can Stay Outside in Winter

Posted by Jason Wyrwicz on Jun 13th 2024

Planters That Can Stay Outside in Winter

As summer fades and the temperature dips, container gardeners face a challenge: protecting their beloved plants from the harsh realities of winter. While selecting winter-hardy plants is crucial, the planter itself plays a vital role. This guide equips you with the knowledge to choose the right planter material for your container garden, ensuring your plants not only survive, but thrive, throughout the cold months.

Best Planter Materials That Can Withstand Winter Temperatures

When the winter season hits, protecting your beloved container plants becomes a priority. Choosing the right planter material is crucial for their survival. Here's a breakdown of planters that excel in withstanding freezing temperatures, with expanded details on their advantages and considerations:

Planter Materials That Withstand Winter Temperatures


Unlike terracotta or ceramic planters that can shatter under freezing temperatures, fiberglass boasts exceptional resistance to cracking. Its flexible nature allows it to expand and contract slightly with fluctuating temperatures, preventing the formation of cracks that can compromise the integrity of the planter. This makes it a reliable choice for harsh winters with frequent freeze-thaw cycles.

Fiberglass provides a surprising level of insulation for plant roots. While not as robust as concrete or stone, it acts as a barrier against extreme temperature fluctuations, helping to maintain a more stable root zone. This is crucial for protecting delicate root systems from the damaging effects of severe cold.

fiberglass planter


This innovative material combines the best of both worlds: the lightweight and diverse styles of fiberglass with the strength and insulation of stone. Fiberstone planters are exceptionally durable and won't crack in freezing temperatures. They come in a variety of textures and finishes, allowing you to create a sophisticated winter display.

Fiberstone planters are more expensive than regular fiberglass options. However, their extended lifespan and superior winter performance often outweigh the initial cost.

red color plastic planter


Affordability and lightweight construction are the key advantages of heavy-duty, cold-weather plastic planters. Specially formulated plastics are flexible enough to withstand freezing temperatures without cracking or shattering. They also come in a variety of sizes and styles, making them a versatile option for gardeners.

Compared to other materials on this list, cold-weather plastic planters are the most budget-friendly option. This makes them a great choice for gardeners on a tight budget or those who need to outfit multiple containers.

concrete planter


Concrete boasts exceptional insulating properties, shielding plant roots from extreme temperature fluctuations during winter. This makes them ideal for harsh climates where winters are long and cold. Concrete planters develop a natural patina over time, adding a touch of rustic charm to your winter landscape. They come in various styles and finishes, allowing you to create a classic or contemporary look.

With proper care, concrete planters can last for generations. They are highly resistant to cracking, chipping, and wear and tear, making them a worthwhile investment.

Stone planter


Stone planters exude a timeless elegance that elevates any outdoor space. Natural stone comes in a variety of colors and textures, allowing you to create a sophisticated and luxurious winter display. Like concrete, stone planters are incredibly durable and can withstand the harshest weather conditions for decades. They are a sound investment that will grace your garden for generations.

Similar to concrete, stone possesses excellent thermal mass, helping to regulate soil temperatures and protect roots from extreme fluctuations.

5 Top Fiberglass Planters for Winter

While all high-quality fiberglass planters excel in winter, a few stand out for specific needs. Here are our top choices:

1. Tolga Modern Planter Box

Tolga Modern Planter Box

The Tolga Modern Planter Box is a winter warrior in disguise. Its minimalist design complements various winter gardens, while the range of sizes allows you to accommodate everything from miniature evergreens to statement shrubs.

The Tolga planter's secret weapon for winter? Excellent insulation properties. The fiberglass material acts as a barrier, safeguarding plant roots from extreme temperature fluctuations, keeping them cozy throughout the coldest months. Whether you prefer a classic matte black or a vibrant pop of color, the Tolga Modern Planter Box is a fantastic outdoor planter option as it offers both sophisticated style and dependable winter protection for your plants.

2. Wannsee Large Round Tree Planter

Wannsee Large Round Tree Planter

The Wannsee Large Round Tree Planter is another champion for winter container gardens, offering a winning combination of size, durability, and insulation. Its impressive size makes it ideal for larger trees and shrubs, providing ample space for root growth while offering superior insulation. The rounded shape not only adds a touch of elegance to your winter landscape but also helps prevent windchill from damaging delicate foliage.

Available in a wide range of colors and finishes, from classic matte black to earthy terracotta, this sturdy large planter allows you to personalize your winter garden while providing your trees with a secure and insulated haven throughout the coldest months.

3. Alzira Round Tapered Plant Pot

Alzira Round Tapered Plant Pot

The Alzira Round Tapered Plant Pot is also a great option for winter container gardens. This pot's strength goes beyond winter resilience; it's also surprisingly lightweight compared to concrete or stone planters, making it easier to move and rearrange your winter display throughout the season.

The tapered design of the Alzira pot offers a touch of elegance, while the wide range of colors and finishes, from muted tones for a subtle look to bold colors for a statement piece, allows you to personalize your garden décor.

4. Santa Barbara Fluted Planter Pot

Santa Barbara Fluted Planter Pot

The Santa Barbara Fluted Planter Pot is a winter powerhouse. This elegant garden planter features a timeless silhouette with a gently fluted texture, adding a touch of sophistication to your winter landscape. But beneath its stylish exterior lies a core of strength.

Available in a variety of colors, from calming neutrals to eye-catching hues, the Santa Barbara Fluted Planter Pot provides your plants with a reliable and stylish haven throughout the coldest months.

5. Saint Tropez Tall Vase Planter Pot

Saint Tropez Tall Vase Planter Pot

Towering over your winter landscape with elegance, the Saint Tropez Tall Vase Planter Pot is perfect for vertical gardening. Its tall, slender design makes a bold statement while offering unexpected benefits for winter.

The increased depth of the pot provides more soil volume, which translates to better insulation for the plant roots, protecting them from the coldest temperatures. Additionally, the slim profile of this high-quality tall planter helps minimize wind exposure, further safeguarding delicate foliage.

How to Winterproof Your Planters

While choosing the right planter material is a vital first step, several additional measures can significantly improve your plants' chances of thriving through the cold months. Here's a comprehensive guide to winterizing your planters, from plant selection to winter watering:

Know Your Hardiness Zone

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map categorizes regions based on their average minimum winter temperatures. Use this map to select plants that are naturally hardy to your zone, or slightly lower. This ensures they possess the inherent ability to withstand the coldest temperatures your area typically experiences. Pushing the limits by choosing plants unsuited to your climate can lead to winter casualties.

Opt for Planters with Drainage Holes

Regardless of the planter material, adequate drainage is paramount. Ensure your planters have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Excess water around the roots during winter, when evaporation is minimal, can lead to root rot and ultimately, plant death. If your planters lack drainage holes, consider drilling them yourself or opting for planters with proper drainage.

Prioritize Larger Pots for Better Insulation

Plants in larger pots generally fare better in winter. The increased volume of soil acts as an insulator, buffering the root zone from extreme temperature fluctuations. When choosing a pot size for winter, aim for one at least a few inches wider than the root ball of your plant. This allows for sufficient space for root growth while also providing a layer of insulating soil.

Use Mulch for Insulation and Moisture Retention

Applying a layer of mulch around the base of your plants in winter offers several benefits. Mulch acts as an insulator, helping to retain warmth in the soil and protect the roots from freezing temperatures. Additionally, mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reducing the frequency of watering during colder months when evaporation is lower. Choose organic mulch materials like shredded bark or pine needles, which will decompose over time, adding nutrients to the soil.

Group Planters for Shared Insulation

Placing your container plants close together during winter can provide additional protection. By grouping containers, you create a microclimate with slightly warmer temperatures around the plants due to shared heat radiation. This clustering effect is particularly helpful in areas with harsh winters.

Reduce Watering

As winter descends, most plants enter a state of dormancy, requiring less water. Overwatering during this period can be detrimental, as it can prevent the soil from draining properly and lead to root rot. Adjust your watering schedule based on the weather and the specific needs of your plants. Generally, watering once or twice a month during winter should be sufficient for most container plants.

Protect from Wind

In areas prone to strong winter winds, consider providing additional protection for your container plants. Locate your planters in sheltered areas of your garden, such as next to walls or fences. Alternatively, you can wrap them loosely in burlap fabric to create a wind barrier and prevent excessive drying out. While burlap allows air and moisture to pass through, it helps to reduce the wind's desiccating effect, protecting the foliage from drying out too quickly.

Fiberglass: The Versatile Champion for All-Year Round Planters

When it comes to withstanding the harsh realities of both freezing winters and scorching summers, fiberglass planters emerge as the top option. This popular material offers a winning combination of durability, insulation, and versatility, making it a favorite among gardeners for container plantings throughout the year.

Here at Pots, Planters & More, we offer a wide selection of top-notch planters built to endure even the harshest winters. Create a captivating winter display that complements your existing décor, all while keeping your plants happy and healthy. Browse our extensive collection to find the perfect planters that match your style and garden needs.

Need help finding the right planter? Our plant experts are here to offer personalized advice. Get in touch today and they'll ensure you find the perfect fit for your garden!