How to protect and save your plants this winter

Amanda Herrera-Hernandez with Liberty Landscape Supply also explains what to do with dead parts of plants

This past weekend left many across Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida with frozen grass and dead plants due to hard freeze conditions.

Starting Saturday morning, photos of frozen plants were flowing in on StormPins, along with questions on what to do with the now brown/dead plants.

Amanda Herrera-Hernandez with Liberty Landscape Supply went through the steps to keep your plants healthy through the winter and what to do with the dead parts.

Tropical plants are popular in Florida. They tend to be sensitive to the cold and need to be covered when freezing temperatures arrive.

Here’s how to properly cover plants:

  • Grab a freeze protection cloth or fabric cover like a sheet.
  • Cover the entire plants from top to bottom.
  • Secure the bottom of the cover with a heavy item like a rock to help trap in the heat.
  • If a plastic tarp is used, remove it promptly in the morning because it will act like an oven around the plant and do more harm than good.

“The fibers help protect the plant with the heat that comes from the earth and helps trap it in overnight,” said Herrera-Hernandez.

If you see frost damage on your plants like dead leaves, it’s important to leave them alone and do NOT prune the plant. This dead part of the plant will protect further growth through the rest of winter. You’ll want to prune your plants after the last freeze come spring.

“If you do have some herbaceous plants, you do want to remove those because they may have fungal and bacterial issues,” said Herrera-Hernandez. “So if you do have something that’s kind of rotting, go ahead and remove that.”

Although the plants may have dead leaves, you still want to water them because new growth will eventfully show.

Liberty Landscape Supply also has some blog posts on how to help treat cold damaged plants and what materials to use to cover your plants.

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Photo from StormPins user djfrisbee# of frost on azalea leaves in Middleburg.

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