Temperatures can fluctuate wildly in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One day you could be enjoying a sunny, 80-degree afternoon, only to shiver through freezing temperatures the next. Fortunately, DFW residents who want to protect plants from frost and cold weather in general have a variety of options and tactics they can take to preserve their treasured flora. Below are a few tips and techniques to ensure your plants survive the chill.
First Step: Know Your Forecast
If you’re going to protect your plants, you first need to know what the weather will throw at them. Check the weather forecast daily so you know whether you’ll be dealing with overnight frosts. For info on the go, The Weather Channel offers a free mobile app for smartphones where you can get weather reports and radar maps for your specific location.
Bring Portable Plants Indoors
For portable plants and flowers that are sensitive to cold temperatures, DFW-based nurseries like Covington’s Nursery Landscape Co. recommend bringing them indoors or renting climate-controlled greenhouse space. When bringing plants into your home, place them near a window for adequate sunlight, then trim away their leaves and blooms.
Remember to protect your floors from indoor potted plants by not placing them over carpet, and use containers to catch extra water beneath the pot. Be wary of plants that may be poisonous to children and animals.
Plant Sturdy Flowers and Shrubs
Of course, not all plants can come indoors — and many of them won’t need to. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex falls into the USDA agricultural zone of 8a. For the uninitiated, this means that perennial flowers and garden plants should be able to endure temperatures as low as 15 degrees when planted for longevity.
For flowers and plants that you prefer to not store in a climate-controlled environment, consider planting perennials like asters, lilies, and irises. For more information about garden crops and plants suitable for this zone, the Old Farmers Almanac is a great resource.
For Delicate Plants, Use Frost Cloths
Perfect for flowers, trees, and shrubs planted in the ground, frost cloths provide thermal insulation to sensitive plants. For example, many varieties of palms, despite being popular in Dallas-Fort Worth, cannot endure cold temperatures. Using this cloth can protect plants from frost and help keep your palms healthy throughout the harsh winters and spring months. Frost cloths are available at many home improvement stores and gardening centers.
Protecting your tropical and sensitive plants throughout the winter and cold months of spring is not an impossible task. With these easy-to-follow tips, along with advice from your nearest DFW garden center, you have the information you need to protect your plants from frost and cold weather before it hits.
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