As the wind chill rolls in don’t forget about your plants. Experienced gardeners and plant owners know how much of a threat frost and freezing temperatures can pose on plants causing damage and in worst cases, killing them. We have some tips on how to protect your plants from winter.
Since temperatures vary all across the country you might question at what temperature exactly is of concern. Plants are classified by “hardiness” that indicates their ability to survive in various adverse conditions and to assist in determining what climate is destructive to them you can use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Tender plants are those are more susceptible to freezing. When a plant freezes, the water inside causes its cells to burst sometimes resulting in irreparable damage.
Here are some tips to take for tender plants during a freeze.
- Bring any plants in containers or potted plants inside, as well as tender bulbs. Dig those up and store in a cool dry place. If you’re unable to bring plants in, cluster them and place them in a sheltered area close to your home.
- Water the soil of outdoor plants thoroughly. It might sound counterproductive but water in soil actually acts as insulation, protecting the roots and warming the air above the soil. Keep plants such as succulents that are water sensitive in mind where over watering is detrimental. In these cases, its best to bring them in or keep them as dry as possible.
- Cover up shrubs, trees and larger plants with fabric such as bed sheets, burlap or plant frost cloths. Stakes should be used to keep material from touching and plastic should be avoided. Covering plants acts the same as blankets do in keeping us warm. Be sure to remove once temperatures rise above freezing.
Even after following our tips it’s possible that your plants may undergo some visible damage but the good news is that plants are surprisingly resilient. They may have lost their bloom for the year but don’t prune or dig them up, hang onto them until spring. They may recover and sprout once temperatures start to warm up.
Just another Shop RTO lifestyle tip.