Frost Protection for Tender Plants

Frost Protection for Tender Plants

frost protection

It’s that time of year to get those frost blankets ready. The average first frost date in Phoenix is December 16th and you may have several common plants in your yard that need protection from winter freeze and frost.  If you take measures to prevent damage to these tender plants, you’ll spare your yard from some unsightly frost damage, yourself from extra pruning come spring and possible plant loss.

Below is a partial list of common frost-sensitive plants. If you have any of these plants or any other sub-tropical plants, you’ll want to take the below listed measures to protect them from frost and freeze damage.

 The following are all frost sensitive:

Bougainvillea
Hibiscus
Citrus (young citrus are particularly susceptible)
Ficus
Thevetia (Lucky Nut Tree)
Lantana
All varieties of Carissa (Natal Plum)
Tecomaria (Cape Honeysuckle)
Tecoma (Yellow & Orange Bells)
Passiflora (Passion Flower)
Lonicera (Honeysuckle)
Senecio (Mexican Flame Vine-Let go deciduous, or won’t bloom next year)
Solanum (Potato Bush/Vine)
Cuphea (Mexican Heather)
Nerium (Oleander-saves the bloom)
Petunia (Saves the bloom)
Geranium (Saves the bloom)
Lobelia (Saves the bloom.)

A frost blanket gives 7 to 10 degrees of frost protection. We recommend against using burlap, bed sheets or plastic. Burlap is heavy and messy (fibers) and the fibers are open and loose; bed sheets are quite thin and only give a couple degrees of protection; and plastic doesn’t breathe and can actually compound damage to the plant.


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