How to Protect Your Plants from Freezing Temperatures

As we move deeper into winter, cold weather and freezing temperatures are inevitable. While we can bundle up and keep ourselves warm, our lovely plants outside must bear the brunt of it all on their own. It’s important to take steps to protect your plants from the harsh cold weather to ensure their survival and health. In this blog post, we will discuss what cold weather does to your plants, at what temperatures do plants start to see damage, and the top tips on how to keep your plants healthy and thriving during freezing temperatures.

Plants are living things, just like us, and they too have specific needs to thrive in their environment. When cold weather hits and temperatures drop, plants become vulnerable and can easily suffer from damage. The first sign of damage in plants is seen in their leaves, which start to curl and turn brown. When the temperatures drop below freezing point, plants’ cells start to crystalize and burst, causing significant damage to their overall structure. These damages often lead to the death of the plant if measures aren’t taken to mitigate them.

At what temperature do plants start to see damage? This varies depending on the species of plant, but most plants can suffer from damage when temperatures drop below 25℉ (-4 ℃). Frost or heavy freeze can damage or kill most plants, but some plants such as succulents and cacti can tolerate cold weather for brief periods, down to 20 ℉ (-6.7 ℃).

The top tips to protect your plants from freezing temperature include, covering them with protective cloth, mulching, water your plants before a freeze, move potted plants indoors, use plant shelters, and choose plants that are suited for colder temperatures. By covering your plants with blankets or burlap, you can create an air pocket around them, providing them with insulation that will help protect them from the freezing cold.

Mulching is another effective way of protecting your plants during the winter season. Apply a thick layer of mulch evenly around the base of your plants. The mulch will act as a protective barrier that will help retain heat and moisture, protecting the plant’s roots and soil from freezing.

Watering your plants before a freeze helps protect them because when water freezes, it releases heat which, in turn, helps to keep your plants warm. Additionally, moving potted plants indoors helps give your plant respite from a harsh winter climate, as indoor temperatures are typically warmer and more stable.

Plant shelters are another great option for guarding your plants against the cold. They are made from different materials and designed to cover individual plants or entire gardens. Plant shelters help create a microclimate that is warmer than the outside temperature, protecting your plants from freezing and frost. Check out Ben from GrowVeg - he demonstrates Three Thrifty Ways to Keep Plants Cozy This Winter!

Final Thoughts 
Freezing weather can be devastating to your plants, but with the right steps, you can keep them healthy and thriving. By following these top tips on how to protect your plants from freezing temperatures, you can ensure that your plant will survive the winter season and continue to flourish. Whether you use protective cloth, mulching, or water them before a freeze, always remember to choose plant species that can handle colder temperatures, and you'll ensure the health and longevity of your garden!