Monty Don shares his tough love approach to improve your plants this spring

Spring is here and with it a new planting method from iconic gardener Monty Don

composite of a portrait of monty with a citrus tree
(Image credit: Getty / Future)

With spring finally arriving, gardens around the country are jumping to life and beginning to blossom. And as the new month is here, Monty Don has shared his expert advice for what we should all be getting done now that we are in April.

When it comes to knowing the newest garden trends, there's no one we trust more than professional gardener Monty Don. Whether it's his iconic bulb lasagne method or wise words for lawn maintenance in March we take his word as gospel and have never been disappointed with the results.

This time he's shared his tough love approach to preparing plants for the weather ahead, and whilst it instils us with a little gardening worry there's no doubt Monty knows best.

Monty Don's April planting advice 

Introducing his monthly blogpost Monty says, "April is the first month filled with light. The days are longer than the nights and growing ever longer every single day. The sun, when it breaks through the cloud, has warmth in it." 

Words that will make any gardener jump with happiness, as the sun starts to stick around for longer many bulbs that were planted weeks if not months ago will begin popping their heads above ground. But what of the other plants which have been guarded in greenhouses or protective sheds? 

Well now that the worst of the cold weather is behind us, Monty says it's time to bring out the tender plants – hoping we no longer have to protect plants from frost

He says, "Although there is still a risk of frost in my garden - and especially so the further north you go - it is time to start bringing tender plants." 

Tender plants such as Fuchsias, citrus, Brugmansias, bananas, Agapanthus or cannas, to name the few he mentions. Monty, to our surprise, says it's time to gradually 'acclimatise' these fragile plants to the springtime elements before you can add them to a pot or your wildflower garden border

Although you might be hesitant to risk bringing such sensitive plants into the inconsistent UK weather, Monty highlights the importance of encouraging this change of environment for them. 

"It is not so much the absolute temperature as the variations between night and day that they must become used to," he says. Monty recommends putting the plants outside in a sunny yet sheltered spot and having some horticultural fleece to hand to cover them should it be forecasted for a cold night. Or why not take this as a way to use old towels in your garden they're a perfect fleece alternative.

He does however continue to stress how key it is for these plants to get used to certain changes in temperature as well as being exposed to the wind and the rain from which they've been shielded for the past few months. 

Monty recommends leaving the plants in these newly exposed positions for at least a week or two before finally moving them to their final position. This way you don't risk any last-minute freak frost getting to them. 


4m x 10m 17gsm Yuzet Frost Protection Fleece Winter Plant Cover: £13.99 at B&Q 

Whilst the worst of the weather seems to be over, there's no harm in being prepared for a little late spring frost. This fleece plant cover will ensure all your more tender plants are kept safe and cosy through colder April nights. 

greenhouse plants

(Image credit: Future | Tim Young)

Whilst the weather is still somewhat looking up, the professional gardener does discuss just how wet this spring has been compared to past years. In his blog introduction, Monty says, "It is a sobering thought that no one alive has ever experienced a Winter and Spring in the UK as wet as this has been and, as we go into April, there is no sign of the rain stopping." 

And yet, there is hope for this season ahead. Monty is quick to add a glimmer of sunshine with his words, "Even the rain, the endless rain, is less depressing, coming in showers rather than days or downpours." Also less depressing when you consider it's a chance to follow the popular rainscaping garden trend, with our easy rainwater harvesting ideas

That's not all the good news, Monty also shared that he's well underway with his Gardeners' World shooting, saying that they film in his iconic garden each week. We simply cannot wait to see the gardener in action and pick up all the jewels of advice he offers up. 

So whilst it may seem to be a rather depressing wet spring for gardens and gardeners alike, your plants are ready to take on the brunt of it, even the most tender of them. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.