Gardening 101

Protecting These Delicate Plants From Spring Frost

Frost on a flower

If you live in the northern half of the U.S. or in Canada you might grow restless waiting to start your spring planting. The fact is, that if you want to protect your more delicate flowers, plants and vegetables from damage, even if it feels like spring, you should wait until there is no threat of a late frost.

Frost can damage and even kill your more vulnerable plants. The time and effort that you put into organizing, designing and keeping your garden healthy and thriving shouldn’t be wasted by a late-season frost. Even if you plant at the recommended time for your planting zone, you can still experience a sweep of cold unexpectedly, especially around the Great Lakes and the Toronto area.

When it’s your home, when things get cold inside you can always call a Toronto furnace repair company to come to your rescue. Your plants only have you to help save them and help them recover from frost damage. With a little careful planning and a close eye on the weather, you can help your most at-risk plants to stay safe from the threat of frost.

Annuals & Perennials

Plants that are more comfortable flourishing in a southern climate are always at high risk when planted in a more northern zone. Hibiscus, begonias, and Amaryllis can be especially delicate when it comes to colder temperatures and sudden drops.

If you have your heart set on including these kinds of tropicals in your garden you can plan ahead and make sure they are planted somewhere sheltered like against a building or garage.

Make sure that they have either full southern or western sun exposure for the best early-season heat. For the best protection, you can think about planting these kinds of plants in containers that can be easily moved indoors if there is the possibility of frost.

Always make sure that you water your plants before you expect a cold snap to hit. Undernourished plants will not be able to withstand damage from frost.

In your permanent beds, you can cover your delicate plants and flowers with cloth covers or burlap. Over small bushes, you can place buckets over them before the sun goes down.


Before you choose the plants to set up in your garden you need to check what the recommended first and last frost dates are. Plants like Rhubarb can actually become toxic to eat if they are damaged by frost.

If the temperatures start to drop you can cover your vegetables with row covers to help them make it through the cold. Remove covers in the mornings to let the sun help them to warm up.

Damage Recovery

Just because some of your plants may have been damaged by an unexpected frost doesn’t mean that you have to write off your whole crop. It is possible for many plants to come back from some damage.

Remove any flowers, leaves or vegetables that have been ruined. If there are full limbs that have been damaged it’s best to leave them without full pruning until the following spring when new growth starts to appear.


Frost can wreak havoc on a newly planted garden. By choosing your plants and vegetables carefully for their hardiness, waiting out the long spring for the right time to break ground and being ready to take action by covering and protecting your plants in case a cold snap blows through, you may be able to help your plants survive the cold.

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