Indian Hawthorn Winter Care

Indian Hawthorn grows well and with little care in the warmer USDA growing zones of 8-10. Although this broadleaf evergreen looks great all year round, it does slow growth in the winter. Most varieties of Indian Hawthorn will not tolerate long periods of freezing temperatures in the winter and may need extra care or protection when this occurs. 


Protecting Indian Hawthorn in Winter

Indian Hawthorn growing in USDA zones 7 and 8 will require extra protection during freezing winter weather. Temperatures below 20 degrees F can cause winter dieback, which appears as blackened foliage and stems on part or all of the plant. Gardeners in these zones will need to plant Indian Hawthorn in a protected area, such as a foundation planting near the house that keeps the shrub out of the prevailing winds and storms of winter. Covering individual plants with horticultural frost blankets is also another way to protect Indian Hawthorn when snow or colder-than-normal temperatures are forecasted. 

Cutting Back Indian Hawthorn For Winter

Pruning Indian Hawthorn late in the summer or fall is not recommended. Late pruning may spur new growth that does not have time to harden off before winter and is easily killed by cold temperatures. Pruning late in the summer also increases the risk of removing any flower buds forming for the following spring. 

Indian Hawthorn Winter Care in Pots

Indian Hawthorn planted in containers are not as hardy through the winter as those planted in a garden bed. Pots provide far less insulation from cold temperatures and snow. Growing Indian Hawthorn in a container in zone 7 or 8 is risky and will require extra maintenance. Move the planters, if possible, to a sheltered location for the winter. An unheated greenhouse or frost-free garage is ideal. Reduce watering during the winter to allow the soil to dry so the roots do not sit in waterlogged soil. Ensure the pot drains well in the winter by placing it on bricks or dedicated ‘pot feet’, which lift it off a patio or deck. 

Watering Indian Hawthorn in Winter

Indian Hawthorn develops drought tolerance after establishing in the garden and will not require much supplemental watering during the winter months. If you garden in an area with regular winter rain, do not water this shrub unless there is a period of unusual dryness. Container-grown Indian Hawthorn can be treated the same way. Supplemental watering is only needed if natural rainfall is absent for more than a week or two.

Growing Indian Hawthorn Indoors

Indian Hawthorn does not grow well indoors and should be overwintered as a houseplant. If cold weather is predicted, move or cover the container temporarily to protect it. 

Steps To Care For Indian Hawthorn in Winter

Indian Hawthorn requires little extra winter care when grown in USDA zones 8-10. During periods of severe freezes or heavy snow, there are steps you can take to protect these evergreens temporarily.

Step 1 - Plant Indian Hawthorn in a protected location or use it in a foundation planting if you garden in USDA zones 7 or 8.

Step 2 - Use a horticultural frost blanket or Remay to provide insulation to plants if freezing temperatures or snow is forecasted.

Step 3 - Move planters to a frost-free location such as an unheated garage or greenhouse to provide protection. 

Step 4 - Avoid overwatering during the winter to keep the shrubs healthy and less susceptible to root rot diseases.

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 Author Robbin Small - Published 6-08-2023