Douglas Hunt
Douglas Hunt
  • Hometalker
  • New Smyrna Beach, FL

Getting your plants through a frost


Here are some pointers for helping see your plants through a cold snap. (In most of the country you can tuck these pointers away, but this is the time of year we worry about such things in Florida.)
1. Avoid pruning or fertilizing late in the season to minimize the chance tender new growth will be damaged by cold.
2. Water well before the threat of a frost. According to Cornell University, moist soil can hold four times more heat thandry soil.
3. Move potted plants to a warmer spot next to the house or under a patio cover, especially on the south side.
4. Cover your plants in the late afternoon, to help take advantage of radiational heat from the soil.
5. Keep your Christmas lights handy. The old-fashioned bulbs (not the new LEDs) give off enough heat to provide 3 degrees worth of protection.
A cardboard box is one of the best things you can use to protect your plants. (Photo via therainforestgarden.com)
A cardboard box is one of the best things you can use to protect your plants. (Photo via therainforestgarden.com)
Coverings should be open to the soil to allow heat to rise. (Photo via dlclearningcenter.com.)
Coverings should be open to the soil to allow heat to rise. (Photo via dlclearningcenter.com.)

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2 of 15 comments
  • Jac
    on Mar 30, 2015

    It's late in the season to ask but I'd like to know, having read that plants shouldn't come into contact with plastic coverings, would a fabric/fleece-backed tablecloth be ok? Thanks

  • Shirley Kalinosky
    on Nov 26, 2015

    the pics are from 2014 when we were just starting to work on the house my husband built back in the early 80's. The rose is a very fragrant one and has wintered well until last years snows. It died off this past Spring and in Sept, I found one stalk was still alive. I have been babying it and after cutting the dead stalks down, I wrapped it with light stryofoam pieces and white cloths and put a bucket over it to stave off the snow. So far, we haven't had any snow and it's Thanksgiving day 2015. I have included some pics of when it was in full bloom. I do believe I can bring it back with the hints I have found on Hometalk. Thank you.

    , The back stalks were gone in in this pic but the rest in full bloom, Really large blooms, Over the size of my husbands hand, Pruned a bit but still blooming and smelling just wonderful as soon as you get out of the car BTW it s in full western sun all day into the evening
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