Protecting plants from cold damage

A variety of items you already have around your home can be used to provide excellent cold weather protection for plants, including large towels. Remember that insulating covers need not be expensive nor sophisticated, just effective.

Our winters tend to be relatively mild and that’s considered a blessing by most folks. Nevertheless, temperatures can occasionally dip low enough to be able to inflict a significant toll on many landscape plants in the Galveston County area.

We had a significant cold snap last year during January that caused many gardeners (including me) to scramble a bit to move tropical plants to the garage. As I write this column, meteorologists are forecasting that temperatures will dive into the low thirties over the weekend after an Arctic front arrives.

Dr. William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, The Texas A&M System. Visit his website at

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