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Old 12-13-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Default Do you cover your flowers in chilly nights?

The temperature goes as low as 35F at night now. Do you cover your flowers? If you do, how? A garbage bag?

I am concerned that my pansys and other plants in pots may freeze.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:21 AM
 
Location: League City
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I don't have flowers, but I have several potted plants. I cover them with an old sheet. Originally I brought them inside, but that stopped when my gf saw a lizard stowaway. So now I cover them outside.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:47 AM
 
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Your pansies should be fine. I used to grow them for much of the winter in colder climes. All but the most tender r tropical of plants should be fine at 35F here, in fact.

Keep plants well-mulched...even those in pots...for best results. Also, spray water them heavily the evening before a freeze is expected. I know it's counter-intuitive but it will help protect the plants.

When you do have to cover plants, bedsheets will work in a pinch, but try to use the reusable covers they sell at hardware stores and garden stores instead. The covers work much better!

We cover our plants anytime the temp is expected to dip below 32F for more than an hour or so.

Also note that there is a new product called FreezePruf that you can spray on your plants to protect them from freezing, and it lasts about 4-6 weeks. It's available at the good nurseries and garden centers around town, or online. Link to FreezePruf info.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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I agree with GettaClue. DO NOT USE garbage bags. If you forget to take them out, the plants will burn with the daytime sun. I use old sheets or blankets and put some rocks on the corners to prevent the wind from blowing the blankets off. I also check the forecast and cover if it's explected to go below 32. Last year here in Houston I lost a few big plants that I couldn't cover because we were in lower 30's during the day. Even though I had water the plants, it was too long of a period for them to recover. However, other smaller plants that I thought were dead actually survied. My lawn guy said not to touch them until closer to late Feb or March...he trimmed them almost to the ground and they grew back up.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Also remember that predicted temperatures are usually at IAH and a bit warmer for points south. Anything in my flower beds are there because they are winter hardy. They'll freeze, but grow back from the roots.

Potted plants, I tend to bring into the garage, and I leave an incandescent light on over night.
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