Covering Your Plants

A popular question this time of year…”Should I cover my plants in the cold?”  Depending on who you ask you will get several answers.  Not all are wrong so let us explain out position.  Generally speaking, we don’t get cold enough long enough for this to be a big issue.  To properly cover your plants takes a lot of work and the effort isn’t going to be worth the results.  Granted we are talking about you normal everyday landscape plants.  There are some instances where this information is not going to apply but they are rare.  One of the biggest issues comes from ice and that’s not something we see much of.  In order for covering plants to work you need to understand some basics.  First it’s not the cover that protects the plant.  The cover helps keep the air around the plant warm and the air is what protects it.  Because of this you need to make sure the cover goes all the way to the ground and is sealed off.  You can also consider putting stakes in the ground to keep the cover off of the plants.  With plastic covers, if they touch the plant then you start to loose how effective it works.  Some people will use a cloth cover but these can get heavy in the rain and smash the plants.  Another tip we have seen used is people putting a light under the cover to help create heat.  One example where covering could possibly have some benefits would be with sago palms.  If there were going to be some ice or snow you could cover the plant, not to keep it warm but to keep the ice from building up on the plant.  Hope this helps!