University of Florida

Dealing with Late Freezes

A forecast of a freeze in late winter or early spring can strike fear in the heart of gardeners. What about the tender plants that are just leafing out? Or the new perennials that you couldn't wait to plant?

Start your line of defense by making sure your plants are well watered. Then cover any tender plants with sheets, blankets, or commercial frost cloth that will reach all the way to the ground. The earlier in the day, the better, so that you'll trap more of the ground heat before the cold winds blow it away.

If you have tender plants in containers, move them to a protected location. Plants in pots are even more susceptible to cold damage.
If your plants do freeze back, wait to prune them until you're sure that temperatures are warming up for good.

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