Brrr! Cold weather tips from Ask IFAS

Looking to prepare your yard for a freeze? Ask IFAS has advice on how to protect your landscape from cold weather.  Check out Sydney Park Brown’s Cold Protection of Landscape Plants.

Plan ahead for cold weather

When determining where to put a cold-sensitive plant, consider microclimates in your yard. Low areas can be tough spots for plants during a freeze because the cool air pools and settles there. By contrast, areas near buildings or other plants that can provide shelter from cold winter winds may protect plants from damage.

Prune in spring and early summer rather than in the fall so that growth flushes happen during the warm months.

When a freeze is imminent

Water plants well (but don’t keep the soil too wet for too long or the roots may be damaged).

Cover plants with sheets, blankets, or frost cloth, and make sure the covers extend all the way to the ground so that radiant heat from the soil will keep the air warmer under the cover. Weigh down the covers with heavy objects so that they don’t blow off in the wind. Remove the covers as soon as the weather warms.

Photo of Lei Lani Davis, senior laboratory technician at the University of Florida's North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak, covering snapdragon flower crops to protect them from forecasted low temperatures.

Move container plants indoors or group them together and cover the group.

Pets and people get cold, too! Consult Ask IFAS for general cold-weather tips.


Posted: January 30, 2022

Category: Home Landscapes
Tags: Ask IFAS, Environmental Horticulture Department

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