freezing temperatures tonight... What is better?

ordpete944January 20, 2009

Hello everybody. I live in lakeland florida and am concerned about the cold temperatures forecast for the next 2 days, lows of 30 F. I have new landscaping thats 1 year old, consisting of arreca palms, roebellini, queen palm, hibiscus and liriope. My question is: would it be better to cover these plants with sheets to protect from the cold or run the sprinklers? I have a large 10 zone sprinkler systemt that covers the entire yard. Thanks.


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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)

Cover with sheets or old blankets but 30 F for a few hours shouldn 't do a lot of damage.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:43PM
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How did they hold up. Did you have much damage?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 11:27PM
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I am a sad person today. I ran the sprinklers the first night and covered some of the sensitive palms with potted pathos that were too big to move. They are fine. My hibicus (red hot and pink varities) have wilted leaves and flowers. I quickly covered those. The areca palms (I have about 150 planted in planters near the fence) all turned brown. They aren't wilted, but look like hell. Ixora are a little brown, but standing tall. Arbicolae all turned brown and philodendrons leaves all are laying flat on the ground. Even the yard, which is St. Augustine Floratam, wilted and turned a bit off green.

There is a good side. My 8 foot queen palms ( 18 of them), roebellini, avocado tree and liriope all did great. They look like the they love it. I thought the pool in the backyard would help keep the fenced in backyard slightly warmer. The pool only got down to 55F. I thought it wuld make a "microclimate" and help. But I dont think it did. We have one more night of 34 F degrees temps.

I read that I should not prune back affected leaves and branches until 2 months or so. I am going to fertilize friday or saturday to help the plants out. I had fertilized the yard last week, so I hope it will come back on its own. I hope they will do alright. I enjoyed planting them but do not want to have to repeat the process!


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:04PM
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I recently noticed that some neighbors have just covered the top of their roebelli trunks (below the branches)with covers during freezing temperatures instead of covering the whole plant. Is this some new kind of treatment?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 2:57PM
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roebellini, being a Phoenix, should totally shrug off 30 degrees I would have thought. Palms are most sensitive in their leaves, but real serious damage usually is only right where the leaves come out (that is, leaves can die, but if the meristem stays alive and healthy [later fungal attack is a problem] new leaves will grow back). It would have to get pretty darn cold to damage the trunk itself.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 6:27PM
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