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Protect your plants from freeze damage

Cold enough for you this week? We've warmed up, but be prepared for the next freeze. Plants that require help are copperleaf, banana, papaya, poinsettia, hibiscus, ixora, dwarf schefflera, carissa, philodendron, croton, bougainvillea, allamanda, seagrape, bromeliads, tropical fruit trees and other tropical or semitropical plants.

Old sheets, blankets, boxes, newspaper or plastic can be used to cover delicate plants. When using plastic, build a frame over the plant so the plastic does not touch the plant's foliage. Any covering should be sealed to the ground. This will trap heat rising from the ground and keep the interior 3 to 4 degrees warmer than the outside air. Apply the cover late in the afternoon before the temperature starts to drop. Plastic covers should be removed the next morning after the temperature is above freezing but before the sun's rays become warm enough to cook your plants. Cloth or paper coverings can remain over plants for two or three days if the temperature is expected to go below freezing each night. Additional information can be found online at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg025.

Times files

Protect your plants from freeze damage 12/17/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 17, 2010 3:30am]
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