How to protect your plants from freezing temperatures - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How to protect your plants from freezing temperatures

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – You certainly need to take precautions to stay safe in this freezing cold both people and pets.

These subfreezing temperatures are also hard on vegetation. Nurseries around South Georgia are taking steps to protect their outdoor plants and so should you.

One of the easiest ways to protect your plants is with a cloth cover. It's keeps the heat in and the cold air out.

"See how it's browning and scorched," said Greg Daniell, owner of ABC Nursery as he showed me a group of Sago Palms. It's what happens when you mix palm trees with temperatures well below freezing.

"We cover these to keep that foliage looking green and pretty," he said.

The cold weather won't kill most plants in the ground although it will leave them looking quite dreary. It's the potted outdoor plants that can die if frigid temperatures freeze the roots.

"Here we have some boxwood. Plants like this can get hurt if their roots freeze," he showed me.

Holly and azaleas are other species a little more susceptible to damage when temperatures stay in the teens. Fig trees are fragile too and should be laid down and covered.

"Most citrus plants you need to take them in they will get killed to the ground, most can't take it at all," said Daniell.

So bring your lemon and orange trees inside if possible.

An easy option, protect your plants with a blanket. But the only problem with using a cover is when the wind picks up it can blow over.

That's why the best option is icing your plants which can work especially well on tall trees.

"You can turn your sprinkling system on and ice the plants over that will insulate them," said Daniell.

Forecasts show a low of 22 degrees Tuesday night And 16 Sunday night. Thankfully temperatures rise above freezing during the day resulting in fewer damaged plants.

If you chose to cover your plants use cloth not plastic. If you don't remove plastic during the day, it can get hot underneath and scorch the plants, doing more harm than good.

Nursery owners say their business is usually slow when temperatures are this low. But they say NOW is the best time to plant some trees and shrubbery.


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