Keep tabs on the weather. When you hear that the temperature is going to drop below 34°F (1.1°C) that’s your cue to be on the lookout for frost and frost damage.
Ideally, before the snow flies, you’ll want to wrap certain plants in a breathable fabric sometime during the fall season. This gives them added insulation against the cold– kind of like a winter coat for a plant.
As for fabric to use to insulate plants, consider using burlap or linen. If you’re thrifty, you can use newspaper. Wrap it around the plant and secure it as best you can using clothespins, rocks and/or rope. Some people wrap their plants in plastic, but that’s not a good idea because it can trap moisture inside, which freezes and then damages the plant. Remember, you need to use a “breathable” material to insulate your outdoor plant(s).
Tending to plants outdoors when the weather gets colder is like watching a child. You don’t want them to be too cold or too hot so you dress them accordingly. So, if your area experiences a really cold night in September or October, but it’s going to be warm the rest of the week, then it’s smart to temporarily cover the plants outside for just that one night. If the weather is going to consistently be at freezing or below, your plants should keep their “coat” on at all times.
If you can easily move a plant indoors before the frost season arrives, do it. This may entail digging a plant up and transferring it to a container so it can go indoors. Some people choose to take cuttings of their plants, keep them inside during the winter, and then replant them in the spring– it’s up to you.
For plants that cannot be easily moved indoors, besides covering them with breathable insulation materials, there’s also the idea of moving them outdoors to a covered area, such as a barn or shed where they’ll be sheltered from the cold.
Of course, you could always hire a professional plantscaper, and have him or her outfit your business or home with beautiful plants, including artificial options. For more information, please contact Foliage Design Systems of New Jersey at 201-387-7997.