Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Winter Wonderland — Protecting your North Florida landscape

Cathy Esfahani

Few people know that North Florida resembles a winter wonderland, but this weekend could bring us closer to a White Christmas than we could have dreamed! It’s time to protect your landscape, especially your tropical plants. came!

In preparation for this weekend’s freeze:

  • Bring potted plants indoors if possible.
  • When the temperature drops below 40 degrees (soon!), cover your tropical, sensitive plants, and citrus trees with frost cloth (available online or at your local hardware store). Linens and blankets will work without the frost cloth, but if left alone for a few days, the plants can become heavy and block sunlight. Do not use plastic to cover your plants as it can make frostbite worse. Use clothespins, stakes, rocks, etc. to secure the fabric to the ground. Anchor the ends of the cloth to the ground to form a tent and retain warm air around the plants.
  • If you haven’t mulched recently, laying down a new layer of mulch can help protect your plants from freezing temperatures.
  • After freezing, remove the cover as soon as the temperature exceeds 40 degrees. If the evening temperature again drops below 40 degrees, the plant may need to be revived.

Tropical plants are most sensitive to freezing. They don’t like temperatures below 40 degrees.Croton, Hawaiian Tea, Arbicola, Ginger, Bird of Paradise, Hibiscus, Lobelini Palm, Adonidia Palm, Lady Palm, Bougainvillea, Mandevilla, Gold Mound, Sea Grape, Stromata, Tibouchina, Philodendron, Xanadu, Crown of Thorns, Kalanchoe, Sanpatien, etc.

Below 32 degrees, be sure to protect sensitive plants such as bluedays, pentas, geraniums, daisies, gold dust, sedum and salvia.

All citrus trees should be protected/covered below 30 degrees.

Winter annuals such as snapdragons, pansies, petunias and supertunas need to manage freezing temperatures even with some frostbite. Covering them is helpful, but not required.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

For any questions or gardening tips, please email Cathy at kcg.pvr@gmail.com. For more information and ideas, visit Cathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery at 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.

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