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How to Protect Your Plants from the Freeze

It may feel like spring is in full bloom, but this week’s overnight temps may put your plants at risk.

“It is March, so we are going to have periods of time when we are still going to get into cooler nights now, and even into April,” said A.J. Petitti of Petitti Garden Centers.

“And soon, it’s going to be cold and clear in the low 30s. It’ll put a good, heavy frost on,” he said.

An overnight frost is expected to sweep through northeast Ohio, potentially killing flowers or buds.

Trees, including evergreens, should be fine, Petitti said, but popular plants like lilacs, wisteria and clematis should be protected, as their flowers will likely wilt from the freezing temps.

“You need to protect them with a sheet,” Petitti said. “Either get a frost cloth or an old bed sheet that you can put over your plants. Anything with a flower, if it’s planted in the ground.”

However, Petitti said many gardeners make one common mistake that ends up killing plants.

“The biggest thing you want to avoid (is) just putting plastic down,” he said. “Stay away from plastic all together. It’s the worst thing you can do. It actually fries it 10 times worse than a frost would do it.”

In addition to covering plants, Petitti suggested using topical treatments for the plants you can’t bring indoors.

“I recommend using Freezepruf,” he said. “Basically it’s just antifreeze for your plants. So it’ll basically raise the temperature on your plants about five to seven degrees, to where it helps insulate them a little bit.”