While Santa Claus makes his way to town, he brings with him the temperatures that Texas rarely sees. Though most homeowners throughout the state are aware of winter, most are not aware of ways to protect their plants from the dropping temps.
“Low temperatures in and around Houston have been near-freezing, so it’s an important time for homeowners to be aware of the steps to take to ensure plants aren’t damaged or killed as winter progresses,” said Johnny Dailey of Arborcare Houston. “Most of us don’t realize that plants can still be damaged even at temperatures above freezing.”
There are a number of steps Texas residents can do to help “winterize” their plants, Dailey said.
• Try to bring plants indoors or move them into a protected outdoor area, such as a covered patio, or near the base of a large tree.
• Cover plants with plastic film only if an added layer to other wrapping materials such as burlap or cloth. During cold weather, plant tissue can “burn” wherever it comes in direct contact with plastic.
• Make sure plant coverings fall to the ground and are adequately secured with a heavier item to keep wind out and the plant to stay warm.
• Water plants thoroughly before freezing temperatures occur as moist ground stays warmer than dry ground.
• Mulch to protect lower stems and roots from getting cold. The extra layer helps plants retain moisture and stay warmer.
In addition to winterizing your plants, homeowners should consider planting more cold-tolerant plants even though our “winter” is not as cold as other states. For cold tolerance it’s best to use plants native to the high desert region as these places have colder nights and freezing winters.
If you are looking to plant some more cold-tolerant winter annuals for color, you may want to consider pansies and cyclamen. However these probably won’t be able to handle the Texas heat when summer rolls around.
The team of certified arborists here at Arbor Care Houston has made our life’s work caring for and learning about plant and tree care. We enjoy sharing our knowledge with our clients and finding the best ways to advise to help meet your needs. Call us anytime!