Deshan Avenue, Changde Economic and Technological Development Zone, Changde City, Hunan Province, China
Autumn is a beautiful time of year when trees come alive with color, yet outbreaks of sub-freezing temperatures pose a hazard to outdoor plants.
Many plants are very susceptible to damage from cold temperatures and frost. Other plants are hardier and can tolerate cold snaps.
Why are plants susceptible to cold temperatures? Water exists within every plant, from the root to the tip. If the temperature is 28 degrees (or lower)
for several consecutive hours, the water in that plant will turn into ice. This will serve to dehydrate the plant, damaging both its interior and exterior.
Citrus fruits are very vulnerable to freezing temperatures, as are most berries, lettuce, okra, peaches and tomatoes.
Flowers including begonia, marigold, and members of the Zinnia and Impatiens families should also be protected. More tolerant vegetation includes apples,
cranberries, grapes, peas, spinach, petunia, and verbena. The hardiest plants include beets, dates, turnips, pansy, primrose, and violet.
Don’t overreact to plant damage! Plants can be remarkably resilient. If you see signs of frost damage, don’t prune off the affected parts or dig up the plant immediately (especially true for palms).
Wait ’til March (when the weather warms up) to see whether new leaves sprout. If you see healthy new growth at the base of the plant, you can prune off the damaged parts.
If no regrowth is seen, remove the dead specimen and replace it with a more cold-tolerant species.
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