As landscape professionals, the weather is one of the biggest challenges that we must face. Here in Florida, we are grateful to have mostly beautiful weather, year-round. But frost in Florida is a real thing—and it has the potential to be damaging to plants. If you’ve experienced this—or are worried about it in the future—then you might be wondering, will my frost-damaged plants come back?
You might also be wondering how you can protect your plants from future frost conditions.
As your trusted guides in landscaping, we want to help provide information that will set you up for success.
Will My Frost-Damaged Plants Come Back?
You may have happened upon this article because you’ve already experienced frost damage and you want to know what you can do. When freezing conditions occur, it can show with discoloration or damage to the plants’ foliage. More severe frost damage may also impact the plants’ roots and crowns.
First and foremost, you should not panic. Although you might see brown foliage and be tempted to trim it off, this is the last thing that you should do. Surprisingly, the dead foliage is actually protecting the plants, particularly if another cold spell should strike. You should wait until the last frost of the season to trim.
With frost damage, patience is a virtue. Even if you think a plant (or part of the plant) is dead, wait it out. We’ve seen many plants bounce back from frost damage, so it’s worth waiting.
Protecting Plants from Frost Damage
Going forward, the best thing that you can do is make an effort to prevent frost damage in the first place. Keeping an eye on the temperature can allow you to be proactive about preventing problems.
If a frost is coming, cover plants with sheets or blankets, being sure to weigh down the edges. Do not use plastic bags as plastic actually acts as a conductor to the cold and will increase the likelihood of frost damage.
If you’re invested in highly valuable specimen plants on your property, you may want to go even further in your efforts and create a temporary greenhouse (which can be constructed with wood framing and frost fabric). We sometimes see people only wrapping the trunk, but this is not going to protect your specimen valuable tree in its entirety. Sensitive plant material must be completely covered.
If you have plants in containers which can be brought indoors, this is another step you can take ahead of freezing temperatures.
It Starts with Installation
When it comes to fully protecting your landscape as extensively as possible, it goes back to how plants were installed in the first place. Proper installation and proper care can be a great defense against frost damage.
There’s a saying in the landscape world that goes, “right plant, right place.” This means that installing a plant in its ideal conditions will help set it up for success. A strong and healthy plant will be less susceptible to front damage than one that is already unhealthy and struggling.
In addition, sensitive plant material should be planted in protected areas such as near fences or, if shade tolerant, under trees or shrubs. This will help protect them from the wind. It’s also essential to install plant material in well-drained soil.
Over time, plants should be cared for in a way that helps promote and protect their health. This includes proper fertilization and pruning.
The Peace of Mind of a Pro
One of the great benefits of investing in professional plant care is the peace of mind that you’ll get knowing your plants are being cared for as they should. This includes proper pruning and plant health care treatments to keep your plants performing their best.
A professional landscaper who also takes great care in installing any future plants in the ideal location will also help set you up for success.
At Taylor Anthony 365, we can help ensure that the investment in your landscape is protected with wise choices made every step of the way. You shouldn’t need to have a degree in horticulture to keep your plant material looking and performing its best. Instead, you can rely on us to handle it for you.