Protect your plants from cold weather in the West Valley
Despite Arizona’s beautiful weather conditions during the winter we still can reach freezing temperatures.
While many frost-sensitive plants can tolerate freezing temperatures for brief periods, nights that dip into the low 30’s or below for several hours can be deadly for even the hardiest of plants.
This causes much damage to plants and creates waves of phone calls asking, “Are my plants DEAD?” Most likely the answer is no.
Frost damage in plants results from the liquid inside individual cells freezing and forming ice crystals. The crystals then rupture the tough cell walls. When the cell walls open the fluid inside will not be contained so when the ice melts the fluids simply drain out causing limp, dry, brown and black leaves.
Frost damage is progressive within plants. The softest tissues like leaves and tender new shoots are hurt first. With this in mind, the wise gardener waits until new growth starts in the spring to begin pruning off the damaged sections of the plant.
Typically our last frost date occurs in late February, although there have been rare occasions where frosts have been recorded in March. Waiting until then will actually make it easier to tell where tissue damaged by the freezes ends and live tissue begins. As new leaf buds emerge the green color will indicate where it is safe to prune away the dead foliage or stems.
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16772 W. Bell Road, Ste. 110-435
Surprise, AZ 85374-9702