Bedding plants

Frost damage to plants - what now?


If winter suddenly falls, it can have fatal consequences. Because plants that are not hardy can suffer frost damage. Most of the time, however, they can be saved.

Container plants that are not hardy must be brought indoors

Container plants that you have outside in summer are particularly sensitive to frost. Here the frost damage mostly occurs in the root area. In the case of garden plants, however, the leaves and branches are usually mainly affected. If you do not act in time here and bring the plants into the house or protect them properly, you will see the full extent of the disaster at the latest in spring.

If you did not act in time, you can even see the frost damage with the naked eye. After all, there are some characteristics. For example, the leaves of the plants change color or they curl up and even fall off completely. However, the shoots often hang limply and the plant becomes mushy. Accordingly, it no longer sprouts in spring. So always do something in time and protect your plants from frost.

When do plants have to be protected?

Some plants also tolerate temperatures that are slightly below freezing. Therefore, it is generally best not to bring the plants indoors too early, because the fresh air strengthens them and makes them more resistant to diseases. If the temperatures permanently drop below 5 degrees, then the time has come for most plants. Then you must either bring them inside or provide them with appropriate protection to prevent frost damage.

You can recognize frost damage from this

Frost damage to bedding plants:

If you do not cover bedding plants in time with straw, brushwood or garden fleece, it can quickly happen in winter that the plants get frost damage. Do not cut off the frozen plant parts immediately! Wait for the plant to sprout again. So you can better see which parts have actually died and which have not.

Frost damage to container plants:

If, contrary to expectations, there is already frost and you have forgotten your tub plants outside, then they are far from lost. You can recognize frost damage to container plants e.g. the fact that they let the leaves hang. Then you should bring them inside immediately and store them in a room at a maximum of 7 degrees. At the same time, it is advisable to check the roots. If these are still in order, you have to water the plant regularly. Then she often recovers. If the roots are rotten, however, you will no longer be able to save the plant.

You can also scrape off some bark with your fingernail to see if the container plant is still alive. If the shoot underneath is green, the plant is still alive. If it is brown under the bark, the plant has already died.

Frost damage to trees:

Frost damage to trees is usually not only evident from brown and dried leaves. In very cold winters, there can also be cracks in the bark. They arise from high temperature differences on the tree trunk. For example, due to the high temperature differences between day and night or due to sunlight. To prevent this, you should wrap the tree trunks with fleece or straw. You can also protect the trees from frost cracks with a lime paint. It is a white lime paint (e.g. available here) that reflects sunlight.

Frost damage to evergreen plants:

Evergreen groves such as shiny medlars, cherry laurel and olive willows are thirsty even in winter. After all, they evaporate a lot of water through the leaves even in the cold season. However, if the temperature has been below zero for a long time, the roots can no longer absorb water from the earth. The result: the tips of the shoot turn brown and the plant dries up. To prevent this, it is advisable to protect the evergreen groves from the sun with a shading net. In addition, you should water the wood on frost-free days.