Using plant covers for cold weather isn’t always necessary, but they can be a massive help for protecting young or delicate plants. However, the type of plant covers you need depends on your plants, pots, and layout.
In this article, we’ll cover the best plant covers for winter on a balcony. First, let’s go over some important facts about using plant covers.
Before we jump into the full reviews, here’s a brief rundown of our top picks for plant covers for winter.
Best for small pots: TCBWFY Plastic Cloches
These plastic cloches are the best solution for small potted plants.
Best for large pots: Natural burlap fabric
Burlap is the classic choice for natural plant covers. Better yet, it goes with plenty of design styles!
Best for small trees: Growneer plant protection bag
This plant protection bag is perfect for trees or other plants that need a bit more room in the winter.
Best for railing planters: Valibe plant cover
Railing planters can be a bit awkward to cover, so your best solution is a plant blanket like this one.
Best for hanging pots: Islina mini pop up greenhouse
Similarly, the easiest way to protect hanging pots is to take them down and put them in a mini greenhouse. This one is ideal for balconies and small spaces because it’s pop-up.
Why use plant covers on a balcony?
A plant cover is self-explanatory: it’s a cover you put over your plants. What’s less obvious is why you need them. Plant covers are used to protect plants from frost, snow, and other damaging weather conditions. Freezing temperatures can easily kill off delicate plants.
Balcony plant covers for cold weather have slightly different considerations to larger spaces. Primarily, you’ll be protecting individual pots rather than flowerbeds. Also, you might be working with awkward pots, such as railing planters.
When to use plant covers
Here are some points about when to use plant covers for cold weather:
- Set up the cover before the first frost, not after
- If you’re using it for an extended period, make sure the cover is transparent
- Don’t bother covering houseplants (pothos, monstera, etc.). Bring them inside
- Use on perennials at risk of dying (herbs, fruits and vegetables, small trees, etc.)
- If you’re expecting a light frost, you can throw a sheet over the plants and remove it the next day
It doesn’t matter whether you have a covered or uncovered balcony, a patio, or a deck. If it’s cold enough to freeze, you’ll need to use plant covers. The point of plant covers is to trap heat so the plant doesn’t freeze to death. However, a plant cover should be breathable otherwise the trapped moisture could freeze and kill the plant.
5 Best Balcony Plant Covers
1. Best for small pots: TCBWFY Plastic Cloches
A plastic cloche is a small transparent dome that you put over a plant pot. This pack comes with 6 and they’re 8” wide and 7” high. They’d be ideal for small pots for things like herbs and young vegetables.
Each cloche has a ventilation dial at the top to let out moisture. You’ll need to close it manually, though. Also, the pack comes with stakes to keep the cloches in place and tags to label your plants.
There’s not much bad to say about these plant covers. They might be a bit small, but you can simply buy bigger ones.
- Ventilation dial on top
- Pack comes with stakes and labels
- Only suitable for small pots
2. Best for large pots: Natural burlap fabric
For many potted plants, protecting the roots from frost is enough. Burlap is one of the best plant covers for cold weather because it’s breathable and traps heat well.
A roll of burlap is versatile for protecting plants. You can wrap it around the pot, up the plant’s stem, or throw it over railing planters overnight. Failing that, you could make a small tent using stakes and a sheet of burlap.
Its only failing is that it’s not transparent, so you couldn’t cover plants with it long-term. Burlap is still a great choice for wrapping pots, and it goes great with balcony styles that use natural materials!
- Versatile cover for plants
- Completely natural
- Not transparent
3. Best for small trees: Growneer plant protection bag
Trees need large plant covers for winter. Of course, you won’t have massive trees on a balcony, so this plant protection bag should be fine. At 86” tall, it’s still pretty big.
It has a drawstring on the bottom and a zipper up the side, so is super easy to fit over a tree. It’s not designed to cover the pot, though, but that’s what the burlap is for! You might want to use this cover on small trees such as cypress, arborvitae, or even tomatoes.
While it’s not completely transparent, it’ll let enough light in. The fabric is breathable, too, and you can use it for protection against strong sun in the summer. Its only downside is that the material is thin, but it’s enough to protect plants from frost.
- Zipper and drawstring
- Big enough for trees or shrubs
- Provides frost and sun protection
- Could be thicker
4. Best for railing planters: Valibe plant cover
Protecting railing planters is a bit more difficult because of how they’re positioned. However, this plant cover should do the job. It’s a large sheet of fabric, so you could tuck it around your railing planter for protection.
Some frost sheets have metal rings to secure them in place. However, it’s opaque, so isn’t ideal for long-term use. The one linked above is translucent, so plants can still photosynthesize.
While it’s a bit thin, the size means you could fold it in half and still cover your railing planter. Securing it might be an issue, but you could use string, hooks, or even nails.
- Very large
- Suitable for railing planters, veg gardens, etc.
- Quite thin, but large enough to double up
5. Best for hanging pots: Islina mini pop up greenhouse
There aren’t many plant covers suitable for hanging pots. Instead, you’d be better taking them down and putting them in a mini greenhouse. One like the Islina is pop-up, meaning it’s easy to store the rest of the year.
It’s made from PVC, so will be good for keeping the heat in. That said, PVC isn’t breathable, although you won’t have the same ventilation issues as you might with the cloches. Opening the door or window for an hour or so during the day will be enough.
If you have room and lots of plants, a mini greenhouse with shelves might be better.
- Room for plenty of plants
- Pop-up makes for easy storage
- Could be used year round as a greenhouse
- PVC isn’t breathable
Final thoughts on plant covers for balconies
Hopefully, you’ve got a better idea of which plant covers for cold weather are best for balconies. It mainly depends on the type of pot you’re covering, but, as you can see, there are plenty of options.