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News Story
Updated: 06/18/2014 12:13:23AM

Cold protection for the home landscape

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ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY AL SMOKE

This photo was taken in mid-April and shows how fast a firebush plant frozen to ground level will come back and resume blooming.

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY AL SMOKE

To protect large plants, drive stakes in the ground and connect the tops with string or rope to make a frame to support the covering. Place a lamp with a 100-watt bulb close to the trunk of the tree at ground level.

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY AL SMOKE

Firebush is an excellent plant for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, other birds relish the fruits.

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY AL SMOKE

Although firebush is a Florida native, it is injured by cold weather. Leave the brown branches until danger of frost is past (about March 1) and then trim to ground level. You’ll be amazed how fast this plant will recover.

ARCADIAN PHOTOS BY AL SMOKE

Although firebush is a Florida native, it is injured by cold weather. Leave the brown branches until danger of frost is past (about March 1) and then trim to ground level. You’ll be amazed how fast this plant will recover.

By Karen Smoke

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Winter officially arrives Dec. 21. Are you prepared? We could have a frost at any time now. Every cold spell sends gardeners scrambling to protect their plants. Many gardeners despair when they find plants have perished despite their precautions.

Before you race to cover, consider what plants are most vulnerable and how cold injures them. Plants are damaged when the water in their cells freezes and expands, destroying cell tissues. Most plants that originated in cold climates have a means of protecting their cell walls from damage; tropical plants do not.

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