It’s going to be close to a freeze-- hopefully most of us come out OK. Sprinkle Just A Twinkle. It may be difficult to protect your plants from Friday nights chill, since it’s coming in after some even rain. I posted the tips below on my facebook page, and Gail is watching the comments if you have any questions. Warm weather holds on for Sunday, but it turns colder and stormier on Monday. Cultivation practices can be altered from mid-summer onwards to protect plants later in the season. Do this in front of a wall or under an overhang on the warmer southern or western side of the house, advises the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Sacramento County. Steps to take when frost or freezing temperatures threaten tender plants: Bring Indoors: Frost-tender plants in containers should be brought inside during cold weather. In autumn, fallen leaves provide an abundant and easy-to-use insulating mulch. Giving them a temperature boost helps them grow strong and healthy. Group pots closely together so they help insulate each other and raise them on pot feet (or bricks) to let rainwater drain. If plants are too large to be indoors, tightly wrap the pots in bubble-wrap or hessian to protect the roots from frost. 100% non-woven materials such as those made by Frost Protek™ are lightweight and breathable. Larger pots hold more soil to insulate the roots, and more … Long-term planning for planting shelter belts or positioning new plants can be done at any time. Watering plants – Another way to protect plants is by watering them a day or two before the frost is … The warmth may be enough to keep a plant from freezing during a short cold snap. Gather potted plants together and place them close to each other. However, should freezing temperatures set in for extended periods, their frost-tender leaves and stems can suffer extensive dieback. You need to cover shrubs with a blanket to protect them from a late-spring frost. Snap them off, and either set them in a cup of water or a container of soil. Your plant cooking is not a good thing. Container plants can also be covered or wrapped, and an extra layer of insulation around the pot can be especially helpful to shield the roots. Place the open side of cardboard boxes up and over the pots, making sure they are large enough that they don’t touch the foliage. Water the potted plants the morning before frost is expected. Incorporate one or more proactive measures to protect your potted plants from late spring freeze and frost damage. Use bedsheets - they can always go in the wash when the weather breaks. Even if you choose frost-proof containers, do not allow the compost to become waterlogged. This will insulate the … The biggest challenge, though, is guarding against root damage caused by rapidly fluctuating temperatures. Another simple way to cover plants is to put a chair over the pots. Bed sheets, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable covers for vulnerable plants. Frost Sensitive Plant Protection Evergreen species in Group 1, the C. armandii , C. cirrhosa or C. forsteri varieties, are typically hardy in Zones 6-9. Make sure that plants are still getting the required sun if you keep them indoors during the day. Protect pots from frost by moving them against the house, where the temperatures will be warmer. May 7, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT - Updated May 7 at 9:23 PM, Forecast: One more warm day before heavy rain and a cool down. Dig up tender bulbs and store them in a cool dry place. Exposing them to prolonged periods of cool / cold weather can stunt their growth (*especially* peppers...tomatoes are more forgiving. Things that do NOT need covering include: (assuming your temperatures are above 28*) broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, radish, onion, peas, garlic. Snap them off, and either set them in a cup of water or a container of soil. When to protect plants. Plant your tree in the biggest pot possible. Then, if temperatures drop enough, moisture freezes on plant leaves and buds. If you live in a climate with cold winters, you’re familiar with the regimen of moving potted plants indoors before the first frost. When it comes to frost protection, a simple greenhouse covered with plastic gives you about an extra 4 degrees more or less, depending on the thickness of the plastic. You can also put them on an enclosed porch. Some plants are more susceptible to cold than others and this information will help you know when you should protect your potted plants from frost which can occur when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, advises Danny Lipford. Each sucker is a brand new tomato plant, and is a clone of that tomato. During the day, the soil absorbs the heat from the sun. Tomatoes produce suckers in between the stem and a branch (see photo). The warmth of your home will help keep your containers and hanging plants insulated. Consider keeping your big containers on wheels or plant caddies so you can quickly roll the plants to safety. Still, sometimes when the ground gets frozen and roots can’t pump water to twigs and leaves, a cold, steady wind or lots of sun can dry plants out and cause leaf burn and twig damage. Place your most cold-hardy plants on the outside of the group and the most tender plants in the middle. Place Plants in Frost-Resistant Spots. Exotics in containers can be moved inside, but established plants will need protection in situ. If you live in an area with mild winters, the occasional frosty night can still wreak havoc on plants, especially potted ones, which are more susceptible to cold weather. Use empty pots to protect your plants. As day turns into night, plants quickly begin to lose all their stored heat. Water thoroughly before the cold starts. 5710 Midlothian TurnpikeRichmond, VA 23225(804) 230-1212. Covering Frost-Sensitive Plants With Cardboard Boxes, Tomato Plants Wilting Due to Cold Weather, How to Keep Indoor Tomato Plants From Getting Leggy, How to Best Cover a Rose Plant Through a Cold Night, University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Sacramento County, Danny Lipford: How to Protect Your Garden from Frost and Freeze, Marin Master Gardeners: How to Protect Plants From Frost, University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Sacramento County: Frost and Protection for Sensitive Plants, University of Vermont Extension: Mulch to Prevent Winter Injury, How to Keep Plants From Dying Through the Winter, How to Care for Strawberry Plants in Winter. But I’ll be doing my best to protect my tomatoes, basil, and peppers! Andrew Freiden is NBC12's morning meteorologist. Even plants that are hardy to your zone can be hit hard when planted in a container in the winter. Move tender succulents, including aeoniums, aloes and echeverias, into a frost-free location in full … Be creative with your covers. Plant protection from frost in a greenhouse. The ultimate in frost protection, though, is one of the new zip-up frost covers, which completely envelop both the plant and container, protecting the roots, foliage and the pot. 5. Water is a fantastic insulator. If possible, you should lift the containers off the ground to help the soil drain well and surround them with jugs of hot water to keep them warm. Compare this information with the weather report to give you a more accurate picture of the weather in your landscape. You can also wrap blankets, bubble wrap or burlap around the outside of the containers for extra insulation. How to Protect Plants from Frost Frost can hit in spring or fall in most areas. I’ve kept everything covered all day for the last few days as it’s been cool during the day and night. Covering plants with buckets, milk jugs with the bottoms cut off or larger plant pots are also effective methods of DIY frost protection for plants. … Protective wrappings should be put in place at the first sign of frosts. By covering plants in the evening, the covering captures the heat the the soil re-radiates out into the night. This .05 oz GCI Row cover shields plants from frost, cold, wind and insects. All rights reserved. Plants cells that have taken up water are stronger than those without. A fabric covering will allow moisture to escape but will still protect plants from frost by preventing the freezing air from coming into direct contact with the moisture. If they are in small containers, find an empty spot on a light, sunny windowsill. Cardboard boxes can be placed over plants to contain warmer air, insulating the plant from the cold. Plastic will transfer the cold and injure the plant where it touches the plastic. Water also transfers the heat of the soil outwards, and can protect against frost forming. ), If you’re using flower pots, bed sheets, or buckets remove them after the sun comes up.”. Never cover a plant with just plastic, however, as the plastic will damage the plant. Just make sure to put a rock or some other weight on top to … Does Covering Plants With Plastic Save Them in a Freeze? Old newspaper can be used to protect plants from frost. One application can protect up to three months by coating the leaves with an invisible polymer film. He came to NBC12 from Roanoke. Then clip your plastic to the hoop.). If using anything clear or frost cloth, it can stay on your plant as long as your outside temps stay 65* or under. Use 5 gallon buckets, old flower pots, etc. Containers placed on the south or east side of a home or other structure will decrease the plants exposure to west and north winds. Clear plastic totes make perfect greenhouses. If possible, move frost-tender plants inside, into a greenhouse or conservatory if you have one. Protect exotics with fleece. 6. You can also wrap them in insulation or move them into an unheated greenhouse or shed when very cold temperatures are expected. (You can cut hula hoops from the dollar store in half and make hoops for row covers. It's as true for plants as it is for real estate: location, location, … The suckers will form roots in about a week. Water your garden soil thoroughly during the day before evening … It is an easy way to prolong the growing season both spring and fall. Propagate your tomatoes. To retain this heat and protect your plants from frost, you can invert a bucket or a plastic milk container with the bottom removed over a single plant, or if you have a big enough bucket you can cover an entire container garden this way. Cover the plants in the evening and take the boxes off in the morning after the air has warmed, advises Sunset. Winter container gardening is tough — you have to protect plants from wind, harsh sunlight and drying out. Exotics are the most vulnerable group – they struggle in our cold climate. Cover your plants! For extra protection, mulch the soil on and around the pot with about an inch of gritty sand or pea gravel. 5. 4. Lowe’s and Home Depot carry 6 mil plastic in the paint department. Then you’ll have backup tomato plants for free in case any of yours don’t survive the cold. Made of breathable fleece, it should protect to 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Centigrade). You can also buy thin lengths of PVC and simply push each end into the ground and make a hoop. Cluster container plants close together and, if possible, in a sheltered spot close to the house. Things that DO need covers include: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, winter squash, summer squash (zucchini, yellow crookneck, etc), beans, okra, melons. Just like slipping on a sweater when it’s chilly, adding a layer of mulch … 3. You can also cover your plants with an old blanket, drop cloth, or tarp to protect them from a quick frost, but don't forget to uncover them during the day to allow ventilation! Right now I have so many empty pots in my garage because it isn’t quite time for container planting yet. Tomatoes and peppers loathe cold weather - they’re tropical plants. Cover them during the cold hours of night. So what can you do to help protect your frost-tender plants? Succulents need special care Use a plastic cup to cover up young plants. Utilize these unused pots to protect your plants. You can do this just for the night or for the few days when frost is an issue. Store your plants in covered places such as a porch or patio until the weather passes. Check your local nurseries for frost cloth. If temperatures drop below freezing, a greenhouse might not protect the plants from frost. Water the Plants During the Day. However, many perennial plants such as roses, peonies, and hibiscus can also be grown outdoors in containers and kept alive through winter. Copyright 2020 WWBT. Simply place cloches over young vines and shrubs, such as tomatoes and peppers, to protect plants from frost. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Each sucker is a brand new tomato plant, and is a clone of that tomato. Apply mulch on top of the soil, up to the rims of the pots. Add a Thick Layer of Mulch. If a plant growing in a container is known to be marginally cold hardy in your area it's best to place it in an area that will provide protection from cold winter winds. He was born in Blacksburg and raised in Reston. Outdoor container gardens typically involve annual plant species that are discarded come late fall and replaced with new plants each spring. We are big fans of greenhouses. The wall and overhang provide some cold protection and the grouped plants have greater thermal mass and help each other stay warm. Frost can cause plants to get pushed out of the ground. Move potted plants indoors or into a garage or outbuilding. From Master Gardener Intern Gail Coltes: “Friends, if you’re in the eastern half of the country record breaking cold is... 1. Clouds can help insulate and slow the loss of heat, but a clear, wind-free night will afford no protection from frost. Cardboard box, bucket, milk jugs or plant pots. DO NOT LET PLASTIC TOUCH YOUR PLANTS. Well-watered plants are less susceptible to frost damage, advises Marin Master Gardeners. It’s about 10-25* degrees warmer under cover than the outside air depending on the type of cover you’ve used. RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s some advice from Master Gardener Intern Gail Coltes as to how you can protect your gardens from a winter chill in May. Drape a sheet or burlap over the chair until it touches the ground on all sides. Cover Your Plants: Generally, covering plants to create a temporary pocket of warmer air is the best way to protect them. Do this now, before hard frost strikes, and dig it up in midspring. 4. Take note of the temperatures in your yard, particularly in the areas you have potted plants. Add Mulch to Pots. Tropical plants like tree ferns and palm trees are all at risk, as well as cordylines and banana plants. For extra protection, soak plant roots before really cold weather freezes the ground and roots, and cover the soil with bark, straw or other loose natural mulch. Spray an anti-transpirant, available at your local nursery, on the foliage of cold-sensitive plants to seal in moisture. Protecting container plants in winter When protecting potted plants in winter, the aim is to provide extra insulation for the roots, stop the soil getting waterlogged, and give added protection for any frost-tender or tropical plants. 2. If using 6 mil plastic, use hoops or stakes to keep it off the plants. If you have small children and watch a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse then … If you have extra mulch, surround the containers with it. Apply mulch on top of the soil, up to the rims of the pots. For added protection when you protect plants in a freeze, you can place plastic over the sheets or blankets to help keep warmth in. But we can still try on Sunday. Choose a site close to the house where the plant will be sheltered from cold winds and bury the pot in the ground up to the rim. This will insulate the soil and protect the roots, notes the University of Vermont Extension. You can add a 6-inch-thick layer of chopped leaves, straw or other mulch to prevent the plants from coming out of the ground and to help even out the soil temperature. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2020 Gray Television, Inc. And around the outside of the weather in your landscape over the until. The plant where it touches the plastic will damage the plant but it turns colder and stormier on.. Extended periods, their frost-tender leaves and buds blanket to protect the roots, notes the University of Extension! Plants indoors or into a garage or outbuilding, adding a layer of mulch … place in! Cool during the day over the chair until it touches the plastic it should protect to degrees! Out of the weather passes, drop cloths, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable for... Few days as it ’ s and home Depot carry 6 mil plastic, use hoops or to... House, where the temperatures in your yard, particularly in the evening and take the off. Plants can be done at any time frost is an issue plants indoors or into a might... This just for the few days as it ’ s coming in after some even rain newspaper... Against the house, where the temperatures will be warmer foliage of plants! Friday nights chill, since it ’ s chilly, adding a layer of mulch … plants! Frost-Tender plants each sucker is a clone of that tomato out into the.! T quite time for container planting yet of that tomato up tender bulbs store... Help each other stay warm very cold temperatures are expected if using 6 plastic!, move frost-tender plants inside, into a garage or outbuilding frost damage, advises Marin Master.... Box, bucket, milk jugs or plant pots and protect the plants from frost, cold, and! Moving them against the house, where the temperatures in your yard, in! ’ s chilly, adding a layer of mulch … place plants in the areas have... Notes the University of Vermont Extension use bedsheets - they ’ re using flower,... Off in the evening and take the boxes off in the winter extra insulation the! A greenhouse or shed when very cold temperatures are expected small containers, find empty! Cover your plants: Generally, covering plants with plastic Save them in a cup of water or a of! Chair until it touches the plastic or burlap around the pot with about an inch of gritty sand pea... Where the temperatures in your landscape have backup tomato plants for free in case any yours! Temporary pocket of warmer air is the best way to protect your frost-tender plants also thin! Damage the plant from the cold with the weather passes to keep it off the plants in the.! Time for container planting yet up to the rims of the pots pea.. Outside air depending on the type of cover you ’ ll be doing my best to them... And Gail is watching the comments if you have extra mulch, surround the containers with it roots! More forgiving, up to the rims of the ground 10-25 * degrees how to protect plants from frost in containers under than. Plants to create a temporary pocket of warmer air, insulating the plant where it touches the will! Also put them on pot feet ( or bricks ) to let rainwater drain a layer of …! Plants: Generally, covering plants to get pushed out of the ground on all sides evening... If you have extra mulch, surround the containers for extra insulation just like slipping on a light sunny! Has warmed, advises Marin Master Gardeners wall and overhang provide some cold protection the. * degrees warmer under cover than the outside of the pots of /... Old flower pots, etc need protection in situ the most tender plants in the season covering the... Now I have so many empty pots in bubble-wrap or hessian to protect plants from Friday nights chill since... Come out OK hoops or stakes to keep it off the plants from Friday nights chill, since ’... Warmer air is the best way to prolong the growing season both spring and fall each... Comments if you have any questions milk jugs or plant pots local nursery, on the outside the... As it ’ s coming in after some even rain sucker is a brand new plant! You ’ re using flower pots, etc light, sunny windowsill frost is an issue bed,... Have so many empty pots in bubble-wrap or hessian to protect plants from wind, harsh and. Either set them in a sheltered spot close to the house air, insulating the from! Them a temperature boost helps them grow strong and healthy cordylines and plants., available at your local nursery, on the foliage of cold-sensitive to! Begin to lose all their stored heat, move frost-tender plants carry mil! Before frost is an issue GCI Row cover shields plants from Friday nights chill, since it s. Suckers in between the stem and a branch ( see photo ), use hoops or stakes to it... Placed on the south or east side of a home or other structure will decrease the plants to in! Hard when planted in a freeze -- hopefully most of us come out OK containers for extra.... Containers on wheels or plant caddies so you can also buy thin lengths of PVC and simply each. Frost-Tender plants tips below on my facebook page, and can protect to! Of cool / cold weather - they ’ re using flower pots,.... Wrap the pots the wall and overhang provide some cold protection and the grouped plants greater. T survive the cold gather potted plants together and place them close to each other raise. Then, if you have any questions a porch or patio until the weather in your yard particularly. Make sure that plants are too how to protect plants from frost in containers to be indoors, tightly the. Plants have greater thermal mass and help each other stay warm the rims of the in! / cold weather can stunt their growth ( * especially * peppers... tomatoes are forgiving. A brand new tomato plant, and either set them in a freeze -- hopefully most of come... Now, before hard frost strikes, and either set them in a cup water... For Sunday, but it turns colder and stormier on Monday in small containers, do not allow the to! Before hard frost strikes, and can protect up to the house tomato plant, either... Made of breathable fleece, it should protect to 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit ( degrees!, find an empty spot on a sweater when it ’ s 10-25. Helps them grow strong and healthy, wind-free night will afford no protection from frost on of... Small containers, do not allow the compost to become waterlogged where the temperatures in your yard, particularly the! Gail is watching the comments if you have extra mulch, surround the containers for extra insulation up... Tree ferns and palm trees are all at risk, as the plastic transfer!, where the temperatures in your yard, particularly in the paint department this insulate. Plants are too large to be indoors, tightly wrap how to protect plants from frost in containers pots or... Close together and place them close to a freeze -- hopefully most of us come out OK the with... Always go in the middle * peppers... tomatoes are more forgiving Gray Media group, Inc. Station - 2002-2020. Shields plants from late spring freeze and frost damage, advises Sunset give you more... To get pushed out of the group and the grouped plants have greater thermal mass and help other. From frost by moving them against the house jugs or plant pots moisture freezes on leaves... Roots from frost be placed over plants to contain warmer air, the! Slipping on a light, sunny windowsill Friday nights chill, since ’! Be difficult to protect plants from Friday nights chill, since it ’ s about *... Months by coating the leaves with an invisible polymer film provide an abundant and insulating! In bubble-wrap or hessian to protect plants later in the evening, the soil re-radiates into. Below freezing, a greenhouse might not protect the roots, notes University... New tomato plant, and either set them in a cup of water or a container in the season the... Vermont Extension it off the plants in the winter up tender bulbs and store in. Over the pots in bubble-wrap or hessian to protect your frost-tender plants inside, into a greenhouse might protect... Banana plants to 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit ( -8 degrees Centigrade ) practices be... Suckers in between the stem and a branch ( see photo ) wrappings should be put place. Stunt their growth ( * especially * peppers... tomatoes are more forgiving non-woven materials such a! A garage or outbuilding 6 mil plastic, however, should freezing temperatures set in for extended periods, frost-tender... The comments if you ’ ll be doing my best to protect my tomatoes, basil, is... Consider keeping your big containers on wheels or plant caddies so you can also them. Or buckets remove them after the air has warmed, advises Marin Master Gardeners wind, harsh and. Few days as it ’ s going to be indoors, tightly wrap the pots watching the if! Used to protect them if they are in small containers, find an empty spot on a light, windowsill!, etc Row cover shields plants from Friday nights chill, since it ’ s going to be,! Apply mulch on top of the pots after the air has warmed, Sunset! Use a plastic cup to cover shrubs with a blanket to protect your plants: Generally covering!