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Freezing temperatures threaten plants

By Carlo Falco
Published On: Dec 02 2013 05:12:57 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

The first cold snap of the season is on its way.

Temperatures will fall into the low 20s for overnight lows later this week, prompting the National Weather Service in Sacramento to issue a freeze watch for the valley.

The cold temperatures have the potential to wreak havoc on any plants left out in the cold.

But there are a few steps you can take to make sure your plants don’t die with this freeze.

We talked to a garden manager at Wyntour Gardens in Redding. They told us that citrus and tropical plants, such as bananas and palm trees, are the most sensitive to frost.

Experts say that citrus trees will drop their fruits and can die if they’re exposed to temperatures of 28 degrees or lower.

The best way to keep those plants alive is to bring them inside.  But you can also cover them with frost cloths to help the plants live through the coldest nights.

The frost cloths work by keeping the frost from settling into the plant’s cells and can keep the covered plant about 6 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature.

Another way to help the trees survive is to string Christmas lights on them, or spray them with water as the temperatures hit freezing.

The lights will emit just enough heat to help keep the trees from freezing and watering the trees allows for a layer of ice to form on the plants, insulating the plant from the coldest frost-inducing temperatures.