Lyon Logo
February 2017
Lyon Real Estate
Keeping Plants Healthy during Winter

It's been an exceptionally chilly winter in Northern California, and even experienced gardeners have to make extra efforts to protect their plants, trees, and shrubs. Freezes have been unusually frequent this year, with temperatures dropping below 32-degrees regularly throughout the region.

Knowing what low temperatures your plants can withstand is the first step in protecting them from winter's cold. A light freeze occurs at 28 degrees. The most susceptible to the dangers of cold are spring-blooming shrubs, citrus trees, warm season vegetables and annuals, houseplants, succulents and tropicals.

A few simple techniques will protect cold-sensitive plants:

Move potted plants and trees into a garage or shed, keeping them up to ten degrees warmer than being left out in the open. If bringing potted plants into the home, be sure not to place near vents or space heaters.
Grow cold sensitive plants in areas that are protected from cold winds.
Cover with burlap, tarps, blankets, and sheets; try to avoid having the cover touch the leaves or branches, using stakes if necessary. The fabric would ideally reach all the way to the ground to protect the root system, which is equally as fragile. Cover the plants before sunset (to trap as much natural daytime heat) and remove in the morning. Cover smaller plants with an inverted bucket.
Mulch can also serve as an insulator for smaller ground plants or those with extra sensitive (new or recently fertilized) root systems. Straw or pine needles are popular options, as they can be easily removed when the weather warms up.
Be sure to adequately water plants as a shield against frigid temperatures. Water helps insulate the soil.
Eileen Shea
Eileen Shea Direct
(916) 690-6194

Cal BRE#

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