It doesn’t happen often, but it does occur – a spell of unseasonably cold weather that can damage plants. There’s typically one cold snap in Florida each year and climate change has made weather conditions much less predictable. Even if temperatures don’t reach the freezing mark, winds can make it feel colder and plants can suffer.
Below freezing temperatures aren’t beyond the realm of possibility. In 1899, Tallahassee saw temperatures of 2 degrees below zero. Miami National Airport recorded 30 degrees in Dec. 1989 and again in Jan. 1985. Fortunately, there are measures that can be employed to lessen the potential for damage.
South and east sides of buildings hold heat longer than other locations, which means there will be more heat radiated back to plants. A fence on the north side of a property provides a level of protection against cold and winds. Flowers planted under and next to cold-hearty bushes or shrubs helps shield them from the cold.
Plants within landscapes that have been well cared for are better equipped to survive a cold period. That includes fertilizing at the right time, regular watering, weed control, and managing insect pests and rodents.
Applying mulch helps preserve moisture for healthier plants, can discourage insects, and provides an insulating layer. If the forecast calls for below-normal temperatures, it can be helpful to water mulch early in the morning ahead of the front. The mulch will absorb the moisture, be warmed by the sun, and aid in protecting roots.
Cover them Up
Covering a plant is an effective way to protect it from cold temperatures. There are a number of materials available that are inexpensive, lightweight, and reusable. Whenever possible, don’t place heavy materials on plants that will compress foliage or bend branches. Don’t wrap them too tightly, make sure the cover reaches the ground, anchor the bottom to prevent it from blowing off. When the temperature warms, remove the coverings. Avoid plastic as it doesn’t allow plants to breathe.
Plan the Landscape
The best protection against times of cold weather is a well-planned landscape that employs features that protect plants, along with plantings that are able to withstand the occasional cold snap.
RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.
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