In northern regions, annual and perennial overwintering plants such as wheat and temperate grasses accumulate fructan in vegetative tissues as an energy source. This is necessary for the survival of wintering tissues and degrading fructan for regeneration in spring. Other types of wintering plants, including chicory and asparagus, store fructan as a reserve carbohydrate in their roots during winter for shoot- and spear-sprouting in spring. In this review, fructan metabolism in plants during winter is discussed, with a focus on the fructan-degrading enzyme, fructan exohydrolase (FEH). Plant fructan synthase genes were isolated in the 2000s, and FEH genes have been isolated since the cloning of synthase genes. There are many types of FEH in plants with complex-structured fructan, and these FEHs control various kinds of fructan metabolism in growth and survival by different physiological responses. The results of recent studies on the fructan metabolism of plants in winter have shown that changes in fructan contents in wintering plants that are involved in freezing tolerance and snow mold resistance might be largely controlled by regulation of the expressions of genes for fructan synthesis, whereas fructan degradation by FEHs is related to constant energy consumption for survival during winter and rapid sugar supply for regeneration or sprouting of tissues in spring.