We all want the best for our gardens. As long as your greenery has the basics of good sunlight and regular watering, it is sure to thrive. However, there can be periods of drought where you need to water your plants to keep them healthy.
Even during the winter months! But as the temperatures plummet, the frost can encroach on your garden.
Frost is notorious for damaging plants. Even though your plants need to get their dose of water, it’s only natural that you will worry about how watering your plants in times of frost might impact them negatively. So should you water your plants after a frost?
Should you water plants after a frost?
One of the best recommended after care methods for dealing with frost is to water your plants. Your gut reaction may be to not do this in case the frost comes back and damages your plants further.
However, the roots of frost damaged plants aren’t able to absorb any of the moisture in the frozen soil. So they may need some watering to help give them the nutrients they need.
Giving your plants a bit of water after a frost can also help to thaw the ground out a bit. The most important thing to note after a frost is whether the internal temperature of your plants has dipped too much. This is when the most damage can be done to your plants.
Prevention is the best cure. You can always cover your plants with a blanket the night before a frost if you’ve checked the forecast.
Can you spray frost off of plants?
It’s only natural to feel anxious that frost hanging around your plants could damage them further. But you shouldn’t try to spray or wash frost off your plants.
This is because it can raise the temperature of your plants too quickly, which will then damage their cell tissues. Once the cell tissues get damaged, this is when plants could be killed.
The best way to prevent frost damage is to try and slowly raise the temperature of the plants throughout the day. You can do this by placing a blanket over them to allow them to warm up gently throughout the day.
If you want to water the soil after a frost, it’s best to do this without letting water get on the plant foliage. Your best way to prevent frost damage is to water the plants well the night before a frost is going to strike.
Is snow a good insulator for plants?
If you’re worried about frost impacting on your plants, you will of course begin to worry when snow makes an appearance. Even though the colder temperatures can be damaging for new plants, snow can actually keep plants pretty well protected from the colder temperatures.
This is because it can act as a blanket, which works to protect new growth from wind and any extreme temperatures. It can also keep plants moist.
Snowfall can also create little air pockets, which work well as insulation. This trapped air can hold heat better, which will protect the plants from any severe damage.
Interestingly, when the snow is deep enough, this can also work to protect roots from getting damaged, as well as prevent soil from freezing.
Should you water plants before a frost?
So now that we know you should indeed give your plants water after a frost, what about before the frost even hits? Some gardeners do choose to give their plants a good watering before the frost arrives because they believe this helps to insulate the root structure.
Moist ground typically stays warmer than dry ground, which could mean your plants will be protected from frost damage.
However, you should only water as much as your plants can absorb. If you use too much water, this could cause root damage and frozen leaves as the water freezes.
This will of course depend on the temperature in the mornings when the frost arrives. So as long as you only water the right amount, your plants should be able to stay protected.
This is because the water in your plants’ cells acts as an insulator. This works to protect them from the effects of a freezing night. Water in the soil also works to improve its ability to retain heat from the sun. This can help to protect your plants from any sudden drop in temperature.
Humid air is also able to better retain heat than dry air, so as the water in the soil evaporates, this should work to protect your flowers and other foliage.
What temperature is too cold to water plants?
The crucial thing to bear in mind when watering your plants is to do so at the right time of the day. A lot of people assume that during the colder winter months they don’t need to water their plants because they go dormant.
However, this isn’t the case. Plants will go dormant to try and conserve energy, but they still need water to survive.
So now that you know you should still water your plants throughout the colder months, it’s important to establish when is the right time to water them. You should water them earlier in the day, as this gives your plants plenty of time to absorb the water throughout the day.
You should water your plants when the temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Anything below this is of course below freezing.
You won’t want to water your plants in temperatures below freezing, as this water will freeze once it’s left out. If it freezes around the roots of your plants, this could do more damage.
Will one night of frost kill my plants?
It is possible that plants can be killed by frost, however, there are a few factors you will need to consider first before determining whether one night of frost will kill your plants.
This will depend on the time of year the frost occurs, how much frost there is, and what type of plants you have in your garden.
It may surprise you to learn that frosts which occur in winter are actually better for your plants, as they will already be acclimatized to the colder temperatures.
It is the spring frosts which hold more danger for your plants, as they won’t be used to the cooler temperature. Certain types of plants are also able to better deal with frost.
Younger plants are the types of greenery which are more likely to suffer from frost damage. And obviously, the more frost there is, the more damage they could suffer.
So there you have it! While it is a good idea to water plants after a frost, you should ensure to water the soil instead of the foliage itself. This will allow the water to get to where it’s needed most – your plants’ roots.
To give your plants the best protection from a frost, you should water them the night before a frost arrives.
This will keep the soil warm and insulated, and should prevent your plants from becoming too damaged by frost. Alternatively, you can cover your plants with a blanket to protect them from frost damage.