How to Protect Plants During a Freeze

How to Protect Plants During a Freeze

Posted 12/06/2013




Though it’s hard to believe, even the desert freezes over. While Arizona is far better known for our triple digit temperatures than harsh winter weather, there are occasions where below-freezing conditions occur, which can cause serious threats to your property. Well homeowners, as you likely have noticed, one of those occasions has arrived and an unusually cold weekend is ahead.  

A freeze warning has gone into effect for Central Arizona and Maricopa County as temperature lows are expected to hit below 32 degrees throughout the weekend. To prepare your landscape for the icy nights ahead, be sure to take a few key precautions to avoid dying plants and damaged lots.

Spot Sensitive Plants
Some species of vegetation are more susceptible to frost damage than others. Some of the most common in the Valley? Bougainvillea, citrus trees, hibiscus and non-native cactus. Be sure to know which plants in your yard call for extra care.

Take Cover
It’s fairly common knowledge that covering plants is the best way to protect them during a freeze. But many may not realize that choosing the right tarp is key! Bed sheets, light blankets or burlap are a much safer options than plastic covers. Chose something porous to allow moisture to escape.

Stay Covered
Be sure to leave the cover on all night long and through the morning. If possible, don’t remove the tarps until late morning as some of the coldest temperatures of the day occur right after sunrise. So sleep in a bit, and tend to your plants come daylight.

Stay warm this weekend! 

Photo credit: Peter Gorges / / CC BY-NC-ND