Frost Shock would be bad
February 13, 2006 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Dumb gardener filter: What can I do to help protect my big hibiscus plant from the frost tonight? This is the first frost all winter. I've been told to just throw a twin sized bed sheet over the whole plant. Is it that simple?

I don't "garden" so much as pay a group to mow/edge/trim ever so often. I don't have much in the way of landscaping except for a big hulking hibiscus plant I like very much that's right by my front door. This is the first year since I've moved here that we are going to encounter frost temperatures -- yay Florida -- and I feel I should do something proactively to protect the hibiscus.

Googling the interweb tells me to buy a Frost Cloth -- that nobody seems to sell locally -- or short of that just throwing a bed sheet over the whole thing overnight.

Yes? No? Maybe? What can I work out considering I only have the major chains nearby (Home Depot, Lowes, etc), they don't have a different idea, and it's already after business hours?
posted by cavalier to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Best answer: Probably. Usually, a light cover is all that is needed to protect a plant from a light frost. You're just keeping the ice from forming on the leaves. A sheet should do the trick.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:30 PM on February 13, 2006

Sheets work fine - I use them often to protect plants if we get a late spring frost. Be sure to remove it in the morning, early. If there's a lot of dew, the weight of a wet sheet can break off buds and flowers.
posted by donnagirl at 3:02 PM on February 13, 2006

Is it in a pot? Can you bring it inside?

Make sure your sprinklers are off tonight. My family and I have always just put sheets (not plastic!) on the plant itself and on the ground, to trap in the heat. Add extra mulch, if you can.
posted by Sangre Azul at 3:08 PM on February 13, 2006

Best answer: A sheet ought to work. To simplify, frost descends out of the sky and then flows downhill like an invisible sheet of water. It will pool in hollows in the ground, pile up against walls, and flow around obstacles. Have a look at the terrain around your property and try to figure out how the frost is going to travel. You may be able to rig something to deflect the frost away from your plant.
posted by Ritchie at 3:51 PM on February 13, 2006

I threw a sheet over my cacti and succulents. Your hibiscus should be fine.

*waves from Miami*
posted by mkhall at 4:48 PM on February 13, 2006

Response by poster: Sheets it is! Unfortunately they are very comfy in the ground and I dare not try to move them. To make the set complete I threw a twin over Mr. Hibiscus and then a pillow case over the little hibiscus down the way. Thanks everybody :)
posted by cavalier at 5:21 PM on February 13, 2006

the water inside the plants wouldn't freeze it?
posted by vanoakenfold at 7:36 AM on February 14, 2006

It might, vanoakenfold, if it's a harder freeze.
posted by deborah at 12:54 PM on February 14, 2006

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