Caring for Plants in Subzero Temperatures

As you know, the last few weeks in Nebraska have been bitterly cold. Subzero temperatures and icy windchills are not just miserable for us. They do have potential to damage your plants.

So how can this weather impact your landscape?

If you have had the plants a long time and the fluctuation has been minimal, you are probably okay. More often than not, the sap has not warmed up enough and the plants are still dormant. However, if the plant is newer, you may want to spray it with some wilt-proofing film. It will protect your investment from the freezing temperatures and give it a better chance of survival.

Your plants could also experience “winter burn.” This shock turns the ends of the plants brown. Usually it doesn’t show up until the late winter. But usually, the plants should be fine. If the winter is really severe, evergreens and boxwoods may take on a winter color – more bronze and dry looking. This should go away, but if it stays, reach out to your landscape designer or contractor.

You can also use a burlap screen for susceptible plants. Susceptible plants would be anything that falls on the cusp of our weather zone. This would include some roses, hydrangeas, and any grafted plants. The burlap screen creates a fencing that would prevent these plants from being hit by the cold, harsh winds. The wind will dry out your plants. Just use some stakes to hold it in place, but don’t cover the tops of your plants. And don’t use plastic or anything that is going to retain heat.