Deep freeze threatens valley plants and trees

A freeze warning is in effect for much of the valley and it's always a good reminder to cover your plants.

Employees at Elgin Nursery and Tree Farm on McDowell Road got right to work Friday morning, checking plants for frost damage.

What's sensitive right now?

"That would be baby palms, hibiscus bogs, delis lantana," said Alejandro Rodriguez."

Annual plants, like the ones mentioned, can take the cold, but there's a freezing point to them and with overnight temperatures dipping into the low 30s, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Some people had them left over from last year," said manager Jeff Nicholas.  "Some people realized, oh oh, I need more frost blankets."

Nicholas says frost cloths, either rolls or single sheets have been a huge seller in the past week and offers some of the best protection possible for your plants.

"It doesn't absorb moisture like sheets and pillow cases and it gives you several degrees of protection.  It is really light and you can leave it on.. you don't have to take it off in the morning."

One thing our experts say is you shouldn't use to cover your plants is plastic.

"It touches the plant.. it'll burn it right off, whatever it touches because the cold transfers right through the plastic," said Nicholas.

"It'll lose everything right here.. basically what it's going to do.. it's just going to shed, throw all its leaves, everything.. by spring time, it'll come back up with new growth," said Rodriguez.

If you forgot to cover your greens, don't panic.  Cover them overnight and they might turn brown, but experts say wait until at least the first part of March to see if they start growing back.

Another tip: water your plants -- it creates heat.  You can also put down some Christmas lights -- the incandescent ones.  LED lights don't give off the same heat.

Elgin Nursery and Tree Farm
8606 West McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85037

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