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How Can I Protect My Plants from Freezing In The Winter? What About Cactus?

When a freeze is in the forecast, all parts of Phoenix and Tucson should cover very tender plants and some annuals. The usual problem plants are: lantana, bougainvillea, natal plum, hibiscus, most succulents, tomatoes and peppers, basil, and of course ficus trees.

How To Cover Your Plants To Protect From The Cold:

Never cover with plastic or non-breathable materials unless you are going to provide a heat source under them. Use frost cloth, thinsulate, cotton sheets, or burlap. Leave the coverings on all the time during the coldest parts of winter.

Make sure plants are well-watered; in fact, running water under plants or trees that are too big to cover can help. Warming devices like fans, lights (like decorative holiday lights) and heaters can all help if practical. If you have plants in pots, move them under the your patio roof completely or even in the garage for a day or two if they aren’t too heavy. 

TIP: If you’re in doubt about what to cover you can always call a nursery.

If your plants do experience some damage, don’t prune off right away. The damage will probably get worse in a day or two and it will help protect the undamaged part of the plant from future frost if we have any. Wait until danger of any frost is past before pruning back. Generally, that is the middle or end of February.

Can A Hard Frost Harm My Cacti?

Yes it can, though in general saguaros and prickly pears, as natives of Arizona, can survive winter’s coldest temperatures. But other cacti in your yard that may have been natives to other parts of the world can be damaged or even die because of a hard frost. That’s why you should cover them as well or put styrofoam cups on the tips of their arms. When in doubt, take precautions or refer to the tip above and call a nursery.

Home Maintenance To-Do | #HolidayPlantCare




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