Get a Job Well Done today. Pay over 1,2,3 years

How to Protect Your Plants from Frost Damage

Are you struggling to keep your cool when it comes to winter frosts? Sudden frosts are a nightmare for any gardener, causing blackened foliage, wilting leaves, and in some cases… plant death! Luckily, there are a few quick things you can do to protect your precious plants from the icy weather.

How Does Frost Damage Plants?

Frosts occur in the colder parts of Australia, throughout winter and into spring. Generally, an overnight temperature drop lower than -2°C is enough to cause a frost. And the longer the temperature remains below -2°C, the higher the risk of frost damage to plants.

Put simply, frosty temperatures can cause ice crystals to form in the spaces between a plant’s cells. If these crystals thaw too slowly, they cause permanent damage to the nearby cells, producing black and brown patches on your plant. While some frost damage may be minor and only affect the look of the plant, frost can lead to plant death—if severe enough. Yikes.

Some plants (like pine trees, for example) produce a frost-resistant hormone that hangs out in their foliage, stopping the ice crystals from forming. However, most plants are reasonably susceptible to frost damage, and plants with soft, floppy foliage are among the most vulnerable.

1. Move Plants

The first way to protect a plant from frost, is to move it to a safer location. Ideally, this would be inside where it’s warmer. But a covered patio can do the trick too.

2. Cover Plants

If your plant is in the ground, moving it (obviously) isn’t an option. So, the next best thing you can do is give it some coverage during nights where frosts are likely. A cloche, upside down nursery pot, or bottomless milk bottle will work great for smaller plants. For larger plants, try an old bed sheet, some old cloth, or a frost protector blanket. But remember to remove the covering the next day, so your plant can suck up some much-needed sunlight!

3. Wrap Trees

In a similar vein, covering the trunks of larger trees in cloth can help them ward off the colder temps. Frost tends to settle close to the ground, so tree trunks cop the majority of the damage. Simply wrap a large cloth around the entire trunk, from roots to branches. This covering can stay on all winter if need be.

4. Position Plants

The position of a plant can have a big impact on its vulnerability to frosts. Grouping plants together in a huddle can help them retain heat and resist cold winds. Also, popping plants in an enclosed garden area or under a low hanging tree can have the same effect.

5. Spray Plants

Some hardware stores sell frost protection sprays for plants. These sprays coat a plant’s foliage in a thin, biodegradable film that protects from frosts, sunburn, and dehydration. However, this method isn’t recommended for large plants or an entire garden—it’s quite tedious and can cost a heap!
Could you use a helping hand with your garden? Our Local Expert gardeners are experienced, qualified, and all work is backed by our Local Expert Service Guarantee.

Are you eager to get your renovation started?

Our trusted Local Expert professional builders are standing by.

Click here to learn more or request a quote today!

Are you a business owner looking to build your service?

Apply now and become part of the Local Expert team today.

More articles from our Blog:

Book Now