FREEZE Warning!

St Augustine, FL(Zone 9a)

Bob, these are baby citrus. Planted 3 months ago, a minneola and a meyer orange and a kumquat. Shouldn't they be covered? Karen

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

Karen, if you only had your citrus covered for one night, they are fine. Citrus just needs a great deal of airflow around it's leaves. They also have very shallow root systems, so mulch around the bottom if it gets down to freezing temps again, but then move the mulch away immediately as the weather warms up. Many people I know just build up sand around the stems of their smaller trees on the night of the freeze, and scrape it away again when the sun comes out. The main thing is, air flow for the leaves, and keeping the grafted stem from freezing off of the rootstock. Rootstock will never produce good fruit.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Still no signs of frost or freeze here in Jacksonville. Thanks MerryMary for the tip on not using plastic as a winter cover. I'll pull the plastic off once we seem set for a period of warmer weather and come up with a cloth cover next time. My brain has started spinning about making a whole line of cloth "plant cozys." I have lots of donated fabric available and am envisioning super large pillow case type sacks, decorated with applique, maybe even have a string of twinkle lights sewn into the inside...... another project to add to my 1,001 ways to stay far too busy. LOL

NinaNana, my torenias (planted in the ground, not pots) freeze each winter, but many of them return either from the root stock or self-sown seed, I'm not sure which. I've had some for about 3 years and our winter temperatures have been as low as about 28 F.

Jeremy

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

Jeremy!
If you end up with designer cover ups for your yard , you'd better post pictures!! :)
Kind of reminds me of a Toga party we had (no nothing extreme) but everyone only had designer sheets, so it was Bill Blass and Ralph Lauren togas! Well, except for the one stunt man we know, who felt he should also wear cowboy boots and hat with his toga....
Anywhooooo.....
I have infact, used the Christmas lights wrapped around plants to keep the frost off.
MerryMary

(Zone 9a)

Those sheets and pillow cases really do work. When I went to take them off, there was frost coating them. It feels cold now. I hope I didn't uncover the plants too soon. I still have some wrapped around the ground.

Fort Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10b)

A red faced Art notes, my normal wear around here is shorts, but it was just too cold for shorts.
This morning when I started the car for my DW (5:30 am) I turned on the wipers and the windshield which had been covered with mositure, turned to ice. I didn't know the temprature, but it was cold enough for me.

I hope you folks don't suffer any damage. We have had enough bad weather this past year. We don't need a freeze to kill what's left.

Candella's yard is fantastic. I have been there a couple of times. She has a real "jungle" surrounding her house. Ton's of unusual plants and trees and palms in a good sized area. Even common plants would look exotic in this setting. As you walk through the foliage with her bird singing in the background, you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. It's a very special space she has on this planet of ours.

Here is a picture I took of a powder puff plant of her's.

Art

Thumbnail by artcons
St Augustine, FL(Zone 9a)

Forgive my ignorance, but is it just the bottom of the plants that need frost protection and not the leaves? Karen

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Hi, NTherapies. My experience is that the leaves and stems are sometimes expendable to frost/freeze kill, but protecting the root ball and root crown and first few inches of the plant can mean that it has a chance to regenerate and grow the next season. Of course, if you can also keep the leaves and stems from freezing, you have a head start on a larger, healthier plant when warm weather returns. Piling hay around the root crowns has been very effective for me in bringing cold sensitive plants through the winters. The hay is available here from a feed store very near our downtown area as a throwback to the early days when Jacksonville was named "Cowford" because the city was located at the most shallow point in the St. Johns River and the cows could be herded across the river for market.

We're back up to the 70s by day and 40's by night here, so I'm going to pull off the plastic bags and covers. I'll see if I can come up with some of my designer "plant cozies" and post pix before the next freeze warning.

I'm amazed, Art, that you had ice in your area while we escaped without any freezes this far north! I guess it has something to do with the gulf stream wind currents. Also, I'm surrounded on 3 sides by rivers/large creeks within about 1 mile of my property. The proximity to water also helps keep the ambient temps a few degrees warmer.

Jeremy

Fort Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10b)

Jeremy, I only had ice when I turned the wipers on. Before turning on the wipers the car was totally wet. Once I turned on the wipers, and they swept over the mositure on the windows the mositure turned to ice.

Art

St Augustine, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks Jeremy, that helps!

(Zone 9a)

Jeremy, your plant cozies sound creative. I could put eyes, noses, and hats on my garden ghosts and make up for not having snowmen down here.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Fireant, I had a similar thought when I saw my plastic garbage bags on my hibiscus with the two corners of the bag somehow standing up like ears on each side of the bag, but instead of ghosts or snowmen, they looked like boogey-men! LOL I looked for twinkle lights on sale while at Big Lots tonight, but they were sold out. Maybe Target store or one of the other large chains or Jo-Annes will have some twinkle lights I can use to sew on the inside. Or I could go excavating in my attic for some of the few thousand lights I already have up there. I'll be at the quilt room this Sunday and will probably create my first cloth plant cozy and will post some pix.

Jeremy

(Zone 9a)

We'll have to have a plant cozy / goblin / ghost contest.

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

Jeremy you crack me up! POST THE PICS!
:)

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

More freeze warnings out for tonight. I just got back from balmy Ft Lauderdale where we ran the a/c's all night long. I did so want to get some gardening done this weekend while I was home.

Molly

Lake City, FL(Zone 8b)

Molly -
Welcome back to north Florida - darn Yankee weather anyway :-0

Judy

(Zone 9a)

Last night and this morning the wind is pretty powerful.

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

winds here 30 mph gusts..and feels oh so cold>>>>>>>>>.at 50 degrees...yikes...couple days of this

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

These are the days when I regret hanging about a dozen wind chimes of various sizes and tones directly outside the back door! What a cacophany in these strong winds!! I'm ready to snatch them all down or otherwise go screaming into the afternoon. But still no frost or freezes here.

Jeremy

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

Heeheehee Jeremy.

I love all the music, especially in the wind.

It was hot in the house last night so I opened my bathroom window to get some air moving in here. (I knew it would get cold in the wee hours) I could hear the strong winds blowing through the pines boughs and the tinkling of the chimes blending in with it. They soothed my nervousness of living in a mobile home with winds blowing around (after the threat of tornadoes passed of course)

Winds are still blowing, it's 49 in Gainesville, but we have the sun shining on the long side of the trailer providing solar heat, so much so, I'm tempted to open some windows.

Molly
:^)))

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

We had a low of 29 F reported a few nights ago at the airport about 10 miles from my house, but only some minor leaf burn on the elephant ears and a few other plants that were in the most windy locations, otherwise no frost or freeze yet.

I recall some info that I read a while back that said if a plant does suffer freeze damage, you should cut it back to a point below the line of the freeze damage. Otherwise, when the frozen area begins to rot, the rot can spread further down the stem into the healthy, undamaged parts of the plant and the roots and eventually kill the plant. Any experience with using this pruning technique to prevent further damage after freezes?

Jeremy

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

Jeremy, I would wait to cut anything back just yet. Usually, regardless how beautiful the weather is, there is one last frost the last week of Feb......fools us every year, we plant things, cut things back, the then blammo.
After the last week of Feb....I have been able to cut back my bananas and hibiscus with no problem. Not sure just what you're trying to cut back, so it may depend on the type of plant. However, if you start to see wet rot, then you really have nothing to lose by trying to trim some of it away.
This last chilly night we had, I lost one alocasia, and another looks puny. We'll see what happens...they were small in the first place, but I still really liked both.
MerryMary

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Hi, MerryM. The info I relayed on cutting back after freezes was just a general question to the group to see if anyone practiced the method. I fortunately still haven't had sufficient freeze or frost damage to even knock off the leaves of the hibiscus or other plants! I'm not sure what will happen (if my garden goes through the entire winter without a freeze) to plants like Amaryllis which may need a good cold spell to initiate the flowering phase. Also wondering what kind of flea and mosquito problem we will have next season without some prolonged cold weather. I'm loving these beautiful warm days and hoping there are not ill effects from this unusually warm Winter!

I'm still mulling and evolving in my mind exactly how to create my plant covers, so no completed projects nor pix yet. I think I will call them "PlantJammies" -- (someother company already has a better name of "Plankets!") But your suggestions for a name for the plant cozies for frost/freeze protection are welcome.

Jeremy

Jeremy

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