While meteorologists are predicting a mild winter, this only means that we won't be seeing many freezing nights. Make sure you have frost blankets on hand for those tender tropical plants. If any plant damage is noticeable, try to resist the urge to prune plant vigorously until until mid-February.
In Florida, we can always wear shorts on Christmas Day, but we must not forget that we have a winter season. In the Sunshine State, our winter arrives with a cold front either in the two weeks before Christmas or within the following two weeks after the New Year. With the La Nina weather pattern this year, Central Florida's coldest temperatures so far will occur tonight and Tuesday night. Is your landscape ready for freezing temperatures?
- Make sure your plants are hydrated before a freeze.
- Do not run sprinklers systems during freeze.
- Use frost blankets or large boxes to keep plants insulated.
- If using anything other than frost blankets, ensure that the material is not touching the plants' foliage.
- If boxes, sheets, or other material is used, it must be removed each morning and replaced before sundown.
- Don’t overwater palm trees before or after a freeze.
- If palms are damaged - use a copper fungicide as soon as possible.
- Healthier plants and palms survive winter better.