The Best Guide On How To Protect Plants From Frost!

For all the different kinds of plants growing in your garden, you may need to have a whole how to protect plants from frost regime ready for helping them survive the harsh frosty weather. It’s very painful to see your favorite plants wither due to any frost and you are left with regrets of not having cared about them properly. To save those feelings, we are going to help you with protecting plants from frost by detailing out all the important aspects.


Little something about frost

Frosty conditions develop when the cold air settles down with the hot air moving upwards in the absence of the clouds that can reflect the warmth. As the temperature drops below 32 degrees, F ice crystals form on plants causing damage. The tissues of plants become rigid and burst further as they stiffen more.

There are usually three types of frosty situations that can happen:

  • Light frost with the temperature around 29-32 F
  • Killing frost with the temperature around 25-29 F
  • Severe frost with temperature below 25 F

To have the right frost protection for your plants ready, check the two dates of the last frost before spring and the first frost of the fall.

Some tips on starting with right pre-frost care for plants

how to protect plants from frost

Starting with a resilient garden is the best way to ensure survival in any difficult situation that might come and here are a few tips for that:

  • Hardening off the plants goes a long way in strengthening the resilience of the plants against weather changes.
  • Makes sure to avoid doing plantations in or near deep ground depressions as the cold air gets stuck here and damages the plant.
  • Summer crops are the most vulnerable to frost and plant them accordingly to save them when the time comes.
  • Semi-hardy and cold-hardy plants are best to choose for planting in colder climate areas.
  • Choose warm places to store the seedlings and plants and even plant them.

Tips on protecting the plants during frost

As seen above, frost can prove to be lethal for your lovely crops and it becomes imperative to save them with the utmost care. Here are some useful steps you will need to take for doing so:

Shift the plants inside!

This is the easiest step you can take for protecting plants from frost that are potted and kept outside. Let them absorb the sun as far as they can and immediately as the dusk arrives, start transferring the potted plants inside the house and move them out again once the sun is up. Choose any warm or normal room temperature location where the plants remain safe from any sudden temperature change that is the main reason behind plant damage from cold.

 Mulch your plants!

One of the best preventive measures to protect the plants from frost is mulching them heavily with natural material beforehand. You can use things like leaves, leaf mold, wood chips, or hay straws and create one heavy layer of them over the plant's base to give the insulation effect to the roots. Make sure to leave some escape space for the heat near the main stem portion and remove the mulch as frost passes.

Irrigate during the daytime!

You may be surprised by the fact that moist soil is better at insulation and can radiate the heat during nightfall. Thus, watering the plants during the day, especially afternoon, keeps them adequately moist throughout the night. Another reason is that watering in the afternoon prevents it from turning into the snow once the temperature drops if it remains unabsorbed.

Wrap your young trees!

Trees in their young age are highly sensitive to frost damage and may get killed in the first encounter only. You can save that by the trick of wrapping the trunk of such trees with things like cardboard, blankets, towels, pipe insulations, rags, or the commercial tree protector wraps. Start wrapping from the base and go up, making layers, and end with securing the loose ends properly.

Tips on covering the plants to protect them from frost

how to protect plants from frost

For the people who have a huge amount of crops standing in their garden, frost can be a real worry and how to protect the crop from it. Since you cannot move the crops or that they can move, covering them comes out as the most plausible option left and turns out that is a very effective one. Lets us now give you the tips on how to cover plants from frost.

Use commercial crop covers!

There are so many advanced gardening equipment and accessories available these days that make every task easier and the crop covers like garden quilts, floating row covers, or frost blanket, in this case, work miracles. These are soft covers made of plastic or different biodegradable materials too.

To put these covers, you need to first create hoops or tent-like structure over the plant rows and then unfurl the covers over this structure. Secure the edges with some heavy object or by tying it with garden wires to the hoops. This is important to allow the plant's heat to emanate freely and circulate inside the tent so that the plants remain warm.

Choose the right thickness of the cover as per the frost your area sees. You can even get the whole greenhouse kits that just need direct installation and give the same insulator benefits for the plants against frost.

Use sheets and old blankets as covers!

If you do not have the resources to bring the commercial covers for your plants, don’t worry as you are still left with the option of covering them with things like drop cloths, towels, bedsheets, or blankets. Sounds similar to the way you cover yourself right? Put these covers over the plants in a way similar to the above method, creating a raised tent structure and them putting the cloth from over it.

Use warmer thermal blankets if the temperature drops much lower. Make sure that the edges and corners are weighed down to prevent wind uplifting the cover by any chance.

Use cloches or individual container covers for every plant!

There is another alternative how to protect plants from frost method that you can use for covering plants for frost and that involves the usage of individual covers also called a cloche. These are glass or plastic made containers that are mostly in the shape of elongated bells or cones and are used to cover individual plants. If you don’t want to spend money on them, use big pots, jars, milk cartons, or buckets for covering your plants, and make sure to dig them to some length into the ground.

Cover the plants with these cloches right before it gets dark and then removes them early morning to let the sun give its warmth to the plants.

Here are some additional tips on how to cover plants from frost in a better way:

  • If the frost is higher, you can add more heat inside the plant covers by various tricks like putting over an extra blanket, place containers filled with hot water under the cover tents, install non-LED lights inside, etc.
  • The right time to cover the plants is late afternoon. Make sure to have watered the plants in the day as moisture gets time to absorb better and radiates heat later at night to create natural warmth.
  • Cover the plants fully and securely as that is important for the real purpose of trapping heat and keeping the plants warm.
  • List ElemAnother very important thing to ensure is that the cover isn’t touching the plants to avoid the risk of moisture transfer. Keep the tent high enough accordingly.ent
  • You don’t have to keep the plants covered all the time during frost. As the sun gets up in the sky, uplift the covers and let the plants get a sunbath.

Additional tips on dealing with plants during frost

Frost may end up damaging some of your plants or crops even after covering plants for frost and dealing with the frost-damaged plants is equally important. Here are some tips for that:

  • Observe your plants for browned, blackened, wilted leaves or a completely fallen plant and that’s how you will know that first has damaged your plant.
  • Uncover your plants and let them warm up for some time and then decide to prune whatever parts need to be removed. It is usually suggested to wait until spring for pruning the dead parts.
  • Cut the damaged leaves, stems, etc, and let the plant recover in the warmth.
  • You can even try to hold the pruning for some time since the dead ends of plants also act as shields to further damage.
  • You may even replace the completely dead plants with new ones since expecting a harvest from the former would be a waste.


This was all about how to protect plants from frost to ensure their survival through these harsh times. It is very important to start with the prevention beforehand as that increases the success rate of protection measures. Follow our tips and share your valuable inputs.

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