FREEZE Warning!

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Ok Floridians! Time to get out the blankets, smudge-pots, and Christmas lights! Hard Freeze reported for this weekend. I thought we lived here to avoid this nonsense? Take before and after pictures and share your preperation stories, as well as what made it and/or bit the dust. Tropical enviroment huh? Here's a few pictures I just took, so on Monday I can sit and look at them and sigh....
Painted Lady Hibisicus

Thumbnail by MerryMary
Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Criunum amabile, just starting to open it's bloom!

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Here's the pic, sorry!

Thumbnail by MerryMary
(Zone 9a)

This is the first year I've had to "worry" about my plants. Most of the ones I have are able to take a freeze, but not the tropicals. I will be covering them up with sheets and the like. I've heard that using plastic is bad for them.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

hi nancy, you are right about the plastic. since we just moved last week i have been bringing the plants over last. alot of little ones are going on the screened porch, some are staying at the old house in the courtyard draped with sheets and a few are going into the garage. that's what i've been doing all day! debi

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I've been doing the same all day long....I know I'll lose alot of them, but will try to keep most of the tropicals protected....I'm ready for spring.....
:)

(Zone 9a)

Well, I don't have that many to protect, but I've got sheets covering the ones by the pond and plant pots turned upside down over the small plants I got for the fragrant garden (juja's suggestion). I think the fragrant ones can handle a freeze, but I want to be sure. I hope yours all survive. Now, if it would kill all weeds...

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

LOL, no chance of that!

Orlando, FL

Sheets blankets and garbage cans. That is what I use. or I drag them behind a bar on the patio and cover them with blankets. It only last two days so should be ok. The hibiscus are in full bloom now and I dread losing them. I have one that is just beautiful and its a great big double. boo hooo. Hope it dont get that low here. We have had other
times when we managed to escape. They said 34 here but you never know about the weather. Mary

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

SendOne2Me...I know what you are saying about your Hibiscus...mine are absolutely beautiful right now. I have 3 different varieties, and all are covered in blooms! Sigh....
MerryMary

Sunset Beach, NC(Zone 8a)

MerryMary, I love your crinum! Sure hope all will be ok for everyone. We had a frost/freeze here Dec 20th and it got my crinum (not my amabile), but it's already trying to come back so it didn't get it all the way. My amabile is just a baby that I planted 3 weeks ago and looks ok so far since I put a bucket over it. I think the frost got to them all more than the temp. Tonight I covered a few, including the other crinum. We've really got the wind starting to blow here from the North. Br-r-r-r!

How old is your crinum?

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

well here in Palm Bay..i'm on the coast..am hoping it will stay above 35...i don't cover things...but got fingers crossed...hope we all come through it ok...Sunday it starts to warm...so hang on

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

BDunn....my Crinum Asiaticums (white blooms) are probably 10 years old...the pink/burgandy Amabiles Proc. are probably 2 years old, I have 2 of them in large pots, so I can still move them around a bit. They both sent up bud spikes this past week, what timing eh?
JungleB....amazing that Monday will be in the mid to high 70's....enoough sunshine to reveal the damage!
:)

Fort Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10b)

Hi All
I couldn't sleep, decided to see what's new here. Looks like you folks up in 9 or lower are in for it. I just came in from a walk around the pool to see how cold it was. I don't have a thermometer outside, but it didn't seem that cold to me (I did have some jammies on though.) I did notice there was no wind at all down here.

Perhaps I can convince the GG'ers to have a round up down her in Feb or March so you can replenish with fresh S Fl plants.

I'll have my fingers crossed it doesn't get that cold for you.

Art

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

43 in Naples at 7.30 am..... I think we escaped!

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

40 on my screened porch at 6:30 this morning. i dropped the blinds overnight and just put them back up and the plants are enjoying some morning sun right now. tonight will be the killer tho. ugh.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

No sign of a freeze here this morning, despite the weatherpeople's warnings. I would like to know more about why plastic is bad for the plants during freezes -- is it because the plants still get freeze burn when in contact with the plastic and that doesn't happen with old sheets?

I pruned my hibiscus and covered them with large plastic garbage bags, then stuffed hay around the root crown and up into the branches to where the plastic bag bottom begins. I guess a large pillow case would work better than a plastic bag? The Australian Tree Fern and Elephant Foot Plant (2nd winter in the ground) got special treatment with a mini-greenhouse each. I drive pvc pipe into the ground at the four corners, drape with plastic (and old shower curtain liners), and stuff hay around the root crowns. Everybody else that might get freeze damage was covered in a hefty blanket of loose hay. The air trapped in the mini-hay stacks stays warmer than the ambient air, plus the microbial action that occurs from the hay being eaten slowly by fungus and bacteria generates heat (in the same manner that a compost pile generates heat).

I saved all the hibiscus branch prunings and will stick them in a pot of dirt in the greenhouse. If any of them take root, I'll have a ready supply of hibiscus babies to ensure continuation of the species next year.

Jeremy

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

We didn't have a lot of time to do much. We've been working on getting the pump house finished (still not done yet). We covered the pump, pipes and pressure gauge with blankets. I put my potted citrus trees in my van and the veggie starts were already in my bathtub waiting for this to get over. I still have so many plants in pots from the big move and not enough space to put them indoors, and certainly not enough blankets to cover them. I can only hope for the best.

So, people, animals and pipes come first. Plants have to take a step down the totem pole of priority.

I believe it got down to 25 here last night. Although we left a trickle of water going in the garden hose from the pump, it wasn't enough. It froze in the hose. Supposed to be colder tonight.

Molly

Sunset Beach, NC(Zone 8a)

Looks like we did OK here between Destin and Panama City. I covered some things and they seem to be OK. Boy, was the cold wind blowing from the North last night.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Colder night tonight everyone! And the freeze will go further down south than Orlando this time.
Jax- Plastic makes the plants sweat, and as the plants get wet and cold at the same time, it freezes the leaves and makes them mushy. You then open the door for plant diseases (viruses, etc).
Fabric covers keep the foliage dry and does less damage to the plants. If you have already used plastic, just lift the bottoms today to get some airflow while it's sunny and warmer, and then pull it back down this evening.
MerryMary

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Ok, is anyone else getting a visual over morning coffee of Art in his PJ's?

:D

ANywhoooo....FireAnt...how did your fish fare? I'm more concerned about tonight's cold than last nights, mine are fine this morning, but I also had ordered some extra anacharis which conveniently was delivered yesterday, and threw it in so they'd have some place to snuggle down in to.

Mary

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

MerryM,

Art smiles occasionally, but that comment will surely put a BIG twinkle in his eye.

Do you have goldfish in your pond? If so, they should do fine, they are very hardy. (I am missing my pond now)

Molly

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Molly...
I have a combination of goldfish and koi....the koi are what I'm a little more concerned with, they can't take the temperature fluctuations.

If it's any consolation to Art, I often walk around in my backyard in things other than "daytime approved clothing" while sipping my morning coffee. Thank goodness (for my neighbors sake) that I have a tall privacy fence all the way around!
:)

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

art in his "jammies" whoooeee! i can totally see it because unless i have to go somewhere, i stay in jammies all day. i even garden in them. i did learn my lesson years ago about actual underwear tho. i had a very secluded place in the keys (a rarity) and one morning i happened to be in long pj bottoms and a bra. i was watering out back when my septic installer came unexpectedly around the corner to show his guys where it was going. it was a garden hose and 5 men between me and the house. i just kept on watering and mentally dug myself a 5' hole to drop into. LOL yes, i can laugh, now !!!

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi, all.

Art in his PJs: Hey, the guy is in his own yard, doing no harm. At least, he had is PJs on. Every morning during summer in my Montreal garden, the neighbours KNOW I'm going around the garden at sunrise in my boxer shorts, taking pictures of whatever is getting ready to bloom.

The neighbours can look all they want and take pictures if they wish. They gawked at first but then they have learned to ignore me. Art, I say to you: keep going out there in your PJs to your heart's content. It's a big world and the neighbours can look elsewhere.

Sylvain.

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

I lived in Longwood just outside the Orlando area and in Jan 1981 the night temp dropped to 17deg. and ice covered most plants. I moved to So. Fl. one week later.
True story...

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

Tplant, if that happens i'm afraid my dh will hang me and run back to the keys!!!

(Zone 9a)

MerryMary, the fish did fine. The plants seem okay, but look like little garden ghosts covered in their sheets. I hope tonight goes well. Robert Frost didn't include jammies in the neighbor's line, "fences make good neighbors," but his home was pretty isolated compared to a Florida subdivision.

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

junglebob,

Do you wish you had covered now? We covered all but two pots of Torenia, and they froze.

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

I suppose we'll all know how hard we were hit by the cold in the morning, and can asess then....
Sylvain....I agree, I've put up the privacy fence, and lined it with plants all the way around, so at this point, if the neighbors see something, it's because they are really looking hard TO see something! Either don't peek, or don't complain, that's my theory!
:) I'm certainly no exhibitionist, that's for sure, but if someones going to take the time to snoop into my mostly hidden yard, then hey, have a great time seeing me in my PJ's drinking my coffee on the deck!
I heard on the 6pm weather, that we may be 3 degrees higher here than originally reported, so we may only get down to 33....I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I really love the bananas and hibiscus that line the edges of my decks.
Fireant....I'm gald your fish made it, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for both of us for this (hopefully) last night of cilly temps.
NinaNana...sorry about your Torenias, I'm glad you got the rest covered or brought in.
MerryMary

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

hi nina nana...i was just outside in my SOCKS and re flannels..lol...and the brugs are still blooming...the purple alamanda and all look fine....HOWEVER...i did see a very light crust on my neighbors car...but nothing looks frozen here...it will warm quickly now...hope everyone escaped with not much damage if any..

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

41 on my screened porch here at 6:30 this morning. i see frost on the roof and on the grass but i don't think it got quite as cold as predicted, at least here. i think living on the lake helps us because we never seem to get as cold as the predictions north or south of us. hope everyone faired as well as we did.

(Zone 9a)

There's light frost on my lawn. It's cold out. I am keeping the plants covered with sheets until the sun is out and warms things up, so the plants still look like garden ghosts. I don't know the exact temperature, but it's probably close to yours, debi.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

38 is as low as it got here; the potted plants on my lanai were moved in snugly to the house and they all seem ok. Everything outside looks chilly but OK too. I hope everyone's plants survived!

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

this yesterday morning after the sprinklers were on it was so cold it created a fog in the back yard.

Thumbnail by candela
Sunset Beach, NC(Zone 8a)

Candela, your garden/yard is fantastic. Sometimes I really wish I was just a little further south.

I just came in from outside wearing my red plaid PJs, blue robe and pink slippers.........we didn't go down to freezing.....hope everyone else was ok.

Barbara



St Augustine, FL(Zone 9a)

It was 32 when we got up this morning. Left a bunch of container plants on the lanai but pushed against the house and they are fine. Outside, I uncovered the citrus and the cherry tomato plants and they are fine too, as are the unprotected butterfly garden plants. Everything is wet now but the sun is doing its job. Hope this is the last freeze for a while. Karen

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

nurse...oh my...don't cover the citrus....unless it was really freezing.....course don't know what age your citrus are...takes a lot of HOURS of freezing to hurt citrus....and as you know..cold help sweeten the citrus

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

It went down to 25 last night here at the house although Gainesville was saying 32.

Thanks for the reminder, I need to get the citrus out of the van and back in the sun. It's warming up nicely now. We're outside working and making a sweat.

Better nights tonight and tomorrow.

Molly
:^)))

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

bdunn, why is it that we all have plaid pjs i wonder. LOL it's 3:00 and i have been moving plants around on the porch and bringing more over from the old house. still in my plaid pjs too!!!

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