Tampa Bay’s Big Chill and Protecting Your Plants

Dead plant in pots
Image via Wikipedia

As realtors, we manage many properties and have received phone calls from clients worried about their plants as outside temperatures drop. Over the years we have gathered a file of information pertaining to plant protection and will share it with you.

First of all you may have to decide which plants to leave outside and which ones you will be able to bring inside. For those plants in the ground outside is your only choice. Determine if there will be a “hard freeze” forecasted by the weather service. Note what day, time and for how long.

Before the sun sets, water your plants. Water only the roots. Why? The water in the ground will be warmer than the frigid air. This will generate a water vapor that will rise upwards towards the above ground plant and create a warmth around the foliage.

Mulch your plants.

If possible pile dry leaves arond the plant to a height of two to three feet. You are trying to surround the plant with a soft barrier.

If you decide to cover your plants, anchor a sheet, blanket (lightweight) or ground cover cloth so that the wind does not lift your cover off. You are trying to create an environment that captures ground warmth.

Utiliizing plastic can be tricky and actually cause foliage damage by limiting a natural air flow to the plant. Although plastic is readily available it could create more problems than solutions. 

After deciding to implement plant covers, watch the weather and temperatures closely.  Once temperatures rise to 50 degrees be sure to remove all covers. 

~ by Lynn Brock on December 13, 2010.

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