Gardening Answers

Winter Protection

Dan_Southwest | Posted in Southwest Gardening on

What plants in your garden need some type of winter protection to make it through outdoors, and what methods do you use?

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  1. User avater Moderator
    Dan_Southwest | | #1

    Even in the mildest parts of the Southwest, there can be a few chilly nights that test your most tender plants. Containers can be moved to sheltered locations and sometimes that's the best option for a prized succulent or tender winter annuals.
    For larger plants in the garden, I usually place a few tall stakes or rebar around them in advance, so last minute protection can happen quickly. I use old light-colored sheets and clothespins for a quick cover that can be left in place for days or weeks if needed. This still allows good diffused light and gentle daytime warming of the plants, but gives just enough protection on frosty nights. Layers can be doubled if conditions require. This also works great if I'm away for a few days or weeks and want to avoid potential losses. Make sure the fabric reaches the ground so heat is retained overnight.
    For things like Plumerias, I also wrap the stems in foam pipe insulation before I cover them. In this case the white sheet is essential to prevent overheating. I leave them covered until most danger of damage is past, usually early March.

  2. User avater Moderator
    Dan_Southwest | | #2

    Now after several frosty nights as low as 28 degrees I'm glad I took preemptive measures! These plants should all be fine. Looking forward to their spring unveiling....

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