As we say goodbye to the bright colors of fall and transition into the winter, you will want to check the flowers in your outdoor garden and prepare them for the colder months ahead. There is still a lot of work going on under the soil until the first frost. To help your plants grow roots, draw in nutrients and pull in moisture there are a few simple steps you should take.

If you are looking for a general guideline to help get your whole garden ready for the next season, there is a simple checklist outlined below. These steps will help protect your flowers and plants through the cold season and get them ready to bloom again!

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Step 1. Limit fertilization as you prepare for winter.

Step 2. Continue watering to provide trees and plants with ample moisture to get them through dry winters.

Step 3. Pull all weeds. If they seed and spread in the spring you will have many more weeds to get rid of.

Step 4. Be sure to spread new mulch. Spread a thicker layer than you would in the summertime to help protect the soil through the winter months.

Step 5. After first frost, get rid of any dead flowers.

Step 6. Dig up tender bulbs like dahlias and gladiolus and store in a cool, dark place.

Step 7. Clean and store outdoor furniture and gardening tools.

Step 8. If you have a favorite annual, collect the seeds and store them for planting next year.

Some plants need extra care to get them through winter. Roses especially need a little TLC to help them blossom again in the spring. For specific instructions on perennials, annuals, roses, trees and bulbs, see our tips below!

How to Prepare Annuals for Winter

Annuals grow from seed to flower in a single season. This means that the whole plant will die and need to be removed from you flower bed before winter. Be sure to plant any new seeds for springtime before the first frost.

How to Prepare Perennials for Winter

Perennials will persist for many seasons if they are taken care of. For many perennials, the blooming portion of the plant will die back and need to be removed. However, if you leave the roots and stems intact as they will grow anew in spring!

How to Prepare Roses for Winter

Roses need more TLC to survive winter and blossom again come springtime. They are very sensitive to cold and drastic weather changes, which means they will need extra mulch to help protect them from the cold. In mild climates, prune your rose plants and then wrap them in burlap starting from the soil up. Stuff dry leaves or straw into the burlap for insulation. If you live in an area that has very cold winters, stop pruning and let the rose naturally prepare for winter by building layers of rose hips.

How to Prepare Trees for Winter

While it may not seem like a tree would need protection during winter, many saplings can be damaged by the cold or scalded by the reflection of the sun. Be sure to protect the root system with extra mulch. You may need to add tree guards to prevent sun damage and keep wildlife from chewing the bark.

With your lovely fall garden coming to an end, you may be looking for some bright winter flowers to add to your dining table. Check out our winter flower selection to see what seasonal flowers are available to bring some fresh color to your holiday decor!