Help!? Freezing! What Do I Cover Cactus With?

amalgamationJanuary 15, 2007

Hi, I'm new here though I've been reading the forums for a few months now - mostly for ways to deal with the sun and heat - Oh, the irony! Everything is freezing now.

I've looked over the forums and many of you mention covering your plants, but what do you cover them with?

The last freeze we tried t-shirt material, but all of our regular plants still died. Though the cactus weren't covered that time, they were fine. Not so this time...

Today I went out and EVERY single cactus out there except for our really old barrel cactus, is either so drooped over it's nearly hitting the ground - or [a few at least :( ]feel like over-cooked cucumbers.

Do they have any chance of coming back?

For the last two years all of our plants and cactus have been just fine, so I am really clueless - please help?

We live near Prince & Flowing Wells (in Tucson) and there's both a Lowe's and a Home Depot nearby if you know of a certain product we could buy at either, I will happy write down the info and go right away.

Thanks _so much_ for any help!


(x-posted to the AZ forum)

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dew80(z7 TX)

I am also new to southwest. Last year all my potted plants died in the winter. Since a greenhouse is not possible in my backyard, I researched for something effective to cover the plants with. I found a synthetic fabric called frost cover or frost fleece. I have been using that to cover all my potted plants in the backyard patio this winter and so far even the tropical climate plants are alive (even with temperature in 20s). We haven't had frost yet so I can not say how it will hold up with that.
I found this fabric in local nursery. Home depot and lowes do not carry this. Advantage over burlap is that when burlap gets wet in rain/water from sprinklers, it would be damaging to the plants. Frost/winter fleece breaths well, lets the sunshine in, does not damage plants in rain/water.
If you can not find it in your local nursery you will find it over the internet.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 2:43PM
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Thanks dew80!

Thanks for explaining the problems with burlap. We might've gotten that instead because of the price difference, but now I know better.

We've been to the nursery and bought a bunch of the frost fabric and so far, so good, I think. Though a few of the plants that were damaged smell sort of "bad" under it, and they still might die - The ones that weren't too damaged might live now.

We've had one other really cold night (but not down to a mere 10 degrees!), and none of the plants look worse for it.

Hope your plants do well during a freeze. With this fabric they really might :)

Take care,


    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 3:41PM
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we use that same type of frost cloth to cover the plants we deliver here in kansas. I work for a greenhouse and part of our job is to cover and uncover the plants for frost protection. but remember that it protects from frost but if it gets to cold you can get cell structure damage that could also cause your plants to die. the cloth doesn't protect from the cold so much. I would still recomend bring inside whatever you can if it gets to cold (if you are doing container gardening).

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 1:48AM
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