Breaking News
More () »

How cold is too cold for your outdoor plants?

It may be spring but it can still get cold enough to hurt your outdoor plants


EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from March 11. 

Even though it is springtime, that does not mean warmer weather is here quite yet. Cold temperatures have moved back into the DMV and that could have an impact on your outdoor plants. Let’s go over a few tips for planting heading into spring.

When you plant is very important. It’s best to wait until the last freeze of the season has passed before planting anything outside. Typically for the DMV the last freeze of the season occurs between the last week in March and the first week in April. A good rule of thumb is to wait until Mother’s Day to plant anything outdoors.  

How cold is too cold? Each plant has a different threshold when it comes to dealing with the cold. Some plants can survive outside even when temperatures hit freezing. Others need to be brought indoors when temperatures reach the mid-40s. Be sure you know this before you plant. Unless your plants are winter-proof, it's best to move them indoors or wrap them up when temperatures are near or below freezing for more than five hours. 

What if your plants are already growing outside for this year and we have another freeze coming? There are a few things you can do to keep your plants alive until things warm up a bit more. First, if your plants are in pots, bring them inside your home or garage. This will keep them out of the elements and will reduce or even mitigate their chances of freezing. If you cannot bring your plants indoors then the next best practice would be to wrap them up. Use a blanket, newspaper, towels or even burlap to keep the plants warm overnight. You can also add a thick layer of mulch or hay to the ground to keep the roots insulated. Be sure to remove your wrapping the next day so that the plants can get as much sunlight as possible. 

Happy planting!  

RELATED: How to grow your own salad

RELATED: Spring spruce-ups: Pro tips to start getting your outdoors ready for the warmer weather to come

Before You Leave, Check This Out