Do I really have to cover my plants in winter??? I live in Florida.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Maryallison, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Maryallison

    Maryallison Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    So I am in the panhandle of Florida and after years of covering plants I am coming to terms with the fact that the sheets and old comforters I cover my plants with really don't do much. I do have alot of freezing nights here, but only nights. And I have recently learned that fruit trees need so many of those freezing nights a year. So.....I am thinking this year I will cover with a nice layer of pine straw that I have alot of from my hundreds of pine trees and just hope for the best!

    Do fellow Floridians have any tips for me????
     
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    The only ones that you should have to cover would be tropical plants, and then only if it is supposed to frost. I lived in Tampa, which doesn't get as cold as the panhandle. A friend of mine had some bird of paradise plants that were planted outside and she never covered them. Here they would be considered indoor plants, it gets way too cold for them!

    What type of fruit trees? If anything you can keep a garden sprinkler running on really cold nights. That's what they do on all those strawberry fields to keep them from getting damaged. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Contact YOUR county extension office & they should be able to give you tips specific to gardening in your zone. Although I garden here in Florida the climate in my yard is probably very different from yours. Also, certain plants require specific treatment during our infrequent freezes. Some will do just fine, even thrive in the cold, others need special care in order to survive. You may find that some plants won't need the extra attention so you can focus your concern on just a few.
     
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    I'm in southeast South Carolina- we lost our big hibiscus last winter, after years of no protection. As said, check around with the county folks.

    Another great place to post that question is the BYC sister site, www.TheEasyGarden.com
    Lots of the members are BYCers, too!
     
  5. Maryallison

    Maryallison Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2008
    Fountain, Florida
    hey thanks you guys! Yeah, I am pretty sure where I live that the "tropical" plants would not mke it outdoors. My fruit trees include pineapple orange, navel orange, but it seems to me that either of them made it through last winter's freezes. They seem to have died down to the graft area. Oh well....maybe fruit trees aren't for my area.
     
  6. CedarRidgeChicks

    CedarRidgeChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Adair Co.Ky
    Maryallison..did you know that just south of Gainesville..from Micanopy to Citra there was once orange groves?...no longer..they froze out!!..this is some south of the panhandle. I picked many an orange there as a youngster.
     
  7. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    I cover mine with sheets! It totally helps them. I have so many banana's i just let them go but and Philadendrum(i know, i hacked that) and tropical plants need to be covered. Find all you flat sheets you don't use and get out there! LOL

    Also anything in a pot will be supject to the cold! I bring all mine in the florida room
     
  8. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wesley Chapel FL
    About covering plants, let me tell you I live north of Tampa, and it seems I live in a very cold microclimate, as soon as dark hits, if the sky is clear and there is no wind, the temp drops like a rock. I lost many plants last year during one very cold night in January where it was already 32 at 9pm. , even the ones I covered, this year guess what, I'm not covering any I think its useless, unless you put a lightbulb or I heard Christmas lights on the plant to provide that extra warmth. I had 5 varieties of citrus trees that I bought from a nursery they were yearlings and they all froze even with them being covered ticked me off [​IMG]. I have a group of cuttings that are in pots, I'm going to put a blanket over them and a bulb in there. Everything else will have to make do.

    Extra tips: make sure the plants are well-watered and mulched, that will help reduce freeze damage.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The frosts & freezes are like the hurricanes, each one has it's own component of factors which could affect plants differently. Here in western Palm Beach County we had 2 separate nights of below zero temps, but one was more damp/humid than the other and each had a different affect. The microclimates that Nathhowe mentioned also must be factored in. Depending on exactly where you are and what surrounds you there could be all or parts of your yard that may be more/less affected by freezing temps.

    The best things to do are to identify all the plants in your yard, especially the non-native varieties. Plants native to your area should pull through the freezes with little adverse affect, but the non-natives will need special attention. It's up to you how much effort you want to expend on protecting them.
     
  10. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And we all know of course you meant below freezing, not below zero that doesnt happen in FL [​IMG]
     

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