BRRRR! How to protect your plants from frost

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- We don't get frost often in Houston, but when we do, here's how to protect your plant:

  • Cluster potted plants near your home. It protects them from wind and holds in heat.
  • Water plants before a freeze. Water helps the soil hold its warmth. Plants also need water to counter drying wind.
  • Adding mulch can help insulate your plants roots.
  • Cover them, but make sure the covering goes down to the roots.
  • Remove the coverings in the morning so sun can warm them and replace the coverings when the sun goes down.

After several hard freezes in the area this winter, it might be difficult to find frost covers at home improvement shops.

Experts say you should avoid plastic, tarps, or anything that says "poly."

Instead, Home Depot employees say try a canvas drop cloth.

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Reporter Nick Natario gets the skinny on why you shouldn't use plastic tarps to shield your plants from freezing temperatures.

At Bering's Hardware, employees are telling customers to use materials already found at their homes.

"You can use sheets, burlap, or any other sort of cloth covering will help insulate that plant," Bering's manager Farrell Benson said. "If you absolutely have to, use plastic as a last resort."

Before you cover, spray plants with water. Adding mulch, or leaves around the base can help as well. If you don't, the effects will be visible.

If you use plastic, make sure it's not touching the plant. Also, give it room to breathe, because plastic can create a greenhouse effect.

What to do if your plants suffer in the frigid weather
Wilting plants? Black spots? If this happens to your plant, it doesn't mean it won't be beautiful again.

"It depends how cold it will get," said Fannin Flowers owner Manoch Khodadian. "You can cut it back, and it'll grow back but it'll take awhile."

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