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Chill Injury in Ornamental Plants

How Can a Cold Event Affect your Ornamental Plant in South Florida?

Miami-Dade County is known for its warm weather which allows a huge variety of sub-tropical and tropical foliage plants to thrive.

What Could Happen to your Plants if Temperatures Drop Below low 40’s?

Most of plants grown in Florida are in containers/pots. If temperatures drop below low 40’s, can injure these plants, resulting in following symptoms of wilt, burn or possibly death if not protected.

How can you protect your plants?

Heating alternatives are very costly for commercial plant nurseries. This is why growers use water instead.

Evaluate your planting areas. Look for micro climates in your nursery. Plants grown in these areas are more sensitive to chill injury than others.

This also depends on types of crops you are growing.

Water protection usually used overhead irrigation: It very important to remember that water must run before 32° F is reached and remain on until ice begins to melt.

Symptoms of Chill Injury:

In Florida, cold temperature damage to foliage plants is often due to chilling temperatures.

Symptoms:

  • Rapidly wilting leaves and appearance of water-soaked areas
  • Accelerated senescence (aging).
  • Increased decay due to leakage of plant metabolites, encouraging bacterial & fungal growth.
  • Reduced growth or sprouting capability.
  • Browning of damaged areas (necrosis) due to warm temperatures following chilling temperatures.

For more information on weather stations tools. go to https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/miami-dade/ ans select under MENU: Miami-Dade Extension Weather Stations.

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NWS released the current forecast for Miami-Dade as of 01/21/20

Stay warm my friends and plants!