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Weekend winter blast threatens cold sensitive plants

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 18:35:26-05

With this weekend’s winter blast, temperatures are forecasted to be in the 20s and 30s on Sunday morning. Mary Straley, the assistant manager at Scott’s Landscaping Nursery, says it is important to know what plants you have in backyard. Some of those plants will hardy enough to survive the cold, while others are not.

“Some of the more frost sensitive things are going to be crotons, softer leaf plants, especially your small bedding plants, your annuals, things like that are going to be a little more sensitive,” said Straley.

With those colder temperatures, you will need to take inside your small potted plants and cover temperatures sensitive plant outside.

Straley says, “You may not think about it because it only happens a few times a year, but there are going be some nights where that temperature drops below 40, 35, even down into the low 30s, possibly into the 20s, and something that definitely requires protection from the frost.”

Straley advises using a frost cloth over an old bed sheet to protect plants you can’t bring inside.

“They are meant to be breathable, to allow the proper air flow,” Straley added. “To make sure they aren’t wayed down and damaging your plant with that weight and that they are not trapping excess moisture.”

If you are covering your outdoor plants, it is best to water your plants beforehand. This will keep the ground warmer.

“That moisture is going to more evenly distributes the heat, so when it is covered it not going to straight to the hot to cold,” Straley said. “It is just going to more evenly hold that heat in, and keep it warmer throughout the night”

In the morning you will then need to uncover your plants and allow them to breathe.

Straley advised, “Once the sun starts rising, everything starts warming up, it gets above 50 degrees or so. That is when you want to pull the frost cloth back off so that it doesn’t stay too hot.”

For young trees that you can’t cover or bring inside, you can wrap the base of the tree.

“Generally when you are wrapping in the base you are protecting new, more fragile roots,” said Straley If the tree is very established, they usually don’t require that.”

Scott’s Landscaping Nursery also tells me to make sure you aren’t using plastic, which could damage your plants. They also added to make sure your cloth protection is rather airtight and not directly touching the leaves.

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