The Chill that can Kill

In Texas a lot of our plants don’t particularly love the cold…much like our people. While many of our city’s drivers like to panic at the first hint of ice (or anything below 50 degrees), many of our plants risk being damaged. Some of the gravest danger is in extreme temperature changes (a favorite pastime of Central Texas). Many of our plants can handle low temperatures, but they experience damage when there is a large and fast change in temperature.

Historically, the end of January and early February in central Texas has numerous freezes. Generally we Texans are optimists; we get one pretty day in the 60s and we like to believe it is spring. Don’t be deceived! If you haven’t lost any plants due to weather so far this year, here are a few helpful tips or ideas you may want to implement.

Christmas lights…

Yes more info about Christmas lights. Take any lights that are not LED and wrap them around plants that you would like to protect. Assuming you have outdoor extension cords and the proper lights, they provide a safe source of slight heat that will help your plants make it through a rough night.

Mulch or just leaves

We have said it a bunch of times, but if you don’t have the right amount of mulch under your shrubs or plants then you are missing out on Mother Nature’s method for insulation. We can provide hardwood mulch, but you may also just want to rake all those leaves under the shrubs.

Sheet, tarp, blanket, trash bag

Cover your plants. This provides a bit of useful insulation. Just don’t leave anything that can gather water on for too long or it will have the opposite effect. For the more fragile plants, you will want to place a stake next to the plant and rest the covering on the stake to protect the plant.

Bring the plant inside

… if it is in a pot, then consider bringing it inside.

Choose the right plants up front

Stepping back a step, choose your plants carefully in the first place. If you have already lost some plants or just want to redo a portion of your yard, we can offer advice on cold hardy plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgments:

Keeping plants safe in winter freezes