FREEZE WARNING Tonight – The Correct Way To Save Your Plants
Plants are hearty, right? Do we really need to protect them from a little frost? For sensitive vegetation, including many of those beautiful spring flowers, the answer is yes.
Ice crystals from frost can form in plant cells, disrupting the flow of nutrients to the tissues and causing damage to the plant. In the event of a late spring frost or freeze, you can help save these tender plants using a few simple methods:
- Water the soil very well (except around succulents). Compared to dry soil, heat is held best in wet soil, protecting roots and warming the air near the ground.
- Bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable covers for vulnerable plants. Use stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from touching foliage.
- Remove the coverings when temperatures rise the next day.
- For a short cold period, low plantings can be covered with mulch (straw or leaf mold). Remove once the danger of frost has passed.
- Place a 100-watt lamp designed for outdoor use in the interior of a small tree. The lamp emits enough warmth to reduce frost damage. Holiday lights (not the LED type) serve a similar function, but be sure they don’t touch any covering materials.
- Spray an anti-transpirant, available at your local nursery, on the foliage of cold-sensitive plants to seal in moisture. The leaves will be coated in an invisible polymer film, protecting the plant for up to three months.
- Cluster container plants close together and, if possible, in a sheltered spot close to the house.