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Old 01-17-2017, 11:44 PM
 
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I have a rubber tree plant in a very large pot outside. It's totally exposed to the elements. A couple of years ago it died due to freezing temps but it came back again and, since then, has grown to be about 5' tall.

My area had freezing temps for a few days earlier this month so I covered the plant with a heavy blanket. Sadly, I forgot about the blanket when the weather warmed up quickly and we had 3 days of temps over 70 before I remembered it. When I removed the blanket, the plant looked dead -- all the leaves were brown, stiff and curled. I cut the branches down a bit, watered it and waited to see if it would show any signs of coming back.

I know that rubber plants can come back from being frozen but I wonder about their coming back from being overheated. I looked through the internet but couldnt find any info on a situation like this. Does anyone know? Thansk so much.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:08 AM
 
Location: St Paul's Bay, Malta
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I'd say it was the freezing temperatures that caused the damage, not the warm up. Even if covered in a blanket the temperature is still going to drop quite low under it. Rubber plants can take extreme heat & drought conditions, but they hate the cold... It may recover though, especially if it has from frost damage in the past.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:51 AM
 
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Thanks so very much, flamingGalahi! You truly are a Fabulous Member!
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:34 AM
 
Location: St Paul's Bay, Malta
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You are welcome
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Old 01-18-2017, 11:38 PM
 
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A word about covering plants against the cold. If you just throw something over, but there is somewhere for cold air to get in around the bottom, it will do no good. Ideally, it is pinned down to the ground so that stored heat in the ground can help keep it from freezing. Also, it is best if the cover does not make contact with the leaves. Cold can move right through a covering to a leaf, but air is the thing that is insulating. That's why people make a tent, or at least a very roomy, light weight covering, so that not many leaves come into contact. If it is really cold, run an extension cord out with a light bulb on the end, and put it inside the tent. That will add heat. Make sure it doesn't burn leaves by touching them.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:33 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the advice, Grasshopper. My area gets freezing temps so seldom that I dont know how to cover plants -- and, from your post, I can see that I made mistakes.
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Old 01-26-2017, 03:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liyagrey View Post
I think it was the freezing temperatures that caused the damage, not the warm up.

Thanks! I hope you're right! This plant came back from freezing previously so it should be able to do so again.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:35 PM
 
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Yeah, a blanket will help with frost but not with a freeze.

Frost is something that actually coats the plant, so the blanket will help. But it's not like the blanket is some sort of force field that will block air.

Some warmer areas are able to successfully ward of freeze damage by putting Christmas likes in their plants. They would need to be incandescent (LED lights don't produce enough heat), and the strands would need to be wrapped around the leaves, not just the branches, in order to keep all parts of the plant warm.

But even this isn't foolproof. It seems easier to drag the plant, even a large one, indoors.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:59 PM
 
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Thanks, MarianRavenwood. Yes, I should have brought it into the garage. But it's very heavy and I have limited use of my right side due to a stroke. I'll ask my neighbor to move it inside the next time there's a freeze.

For now, I'm going to have the branches cut down and wonder how close to the ground the branches should be cut.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Here's a couple of sites that may be of information to you...

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/hou...tree-plant.htm

How to Grow a Rubber Tree: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
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