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Protecting plants from frost


This may be a daft question but I'm quite new to gardening and have planted a lot of things for the first time e.g. sweet peas.  I'm worried about frosts which have been damaging to some of the new growth on my clematis plants in recent weeks so just wondered what needs protection.  I have planted up a lot of pots with fuscias, lobelias etc and also have dahlias and sweet peas in the ground so should I be covering them in fleece everytime there is a frost?

Many thanks for any advice!


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    It has been unusually chilly recently. The most sensitive plants in your list will be the dahlias, fuchsias and lobelia. The sweet peas are more hardy. It's a pain, but you would be wise to cover them with fleece if frost is predicted. Not all years are like this though!
  • Abby2Abby2 Posts: 101

    Thanks for your speedy reply!  I will head outside and get them covered up.  Would be very sad to lose any.  This is a tough year to start gardening!!

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I would say as a general rule, to protect as much of what you have raised in doors or the greenhouse as you can, because all plants can suffer frost damage, especially at this lateness in the year, but the things you take the time and effort to grow and nurture are perhaps the hardest to lose. Most other things will recover in time image

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Keep some fine horticultural fleece near the door, it is then quite easy to pop out and cover the sensitive items when frost is forecast - though it is amazing how many tender things do in fact recover well, or not even notice it at all.  At this time of year it is less likely to be a penetrating frost, and a few ice scorched leaves are not deadly for the plant.  I imagine icy roots are though, so fleece should help there. 

  • Abby2Abby2 Posts: 101

    Great thanks - they all seemed to survive ok last night but put fleece over the Dahlias and everything in our greenhouse as it's not heated.  Just wish it would warm up a bit image

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Don't we all! Whereabouts are you Abby2? I'm in south devon, and it went down to about 3deg C here last night.

  • Abby2Abby2 Posts: 101

    We're in Gloucestershire - I think my garden/area is a bit of a frost pocket as my flowers/trees all come out later than in other areas.  The garden is also west facing so no sun on it until later in the afternoon!

  • StrewberryStrewberry Posts: 18

    We had a frost last night and only our peas got touched.Because we covered up every thing. Thats near Guildford in the south.

  • Can someone advise me at what temperature you should worry about frost? Is it only if the temperature is below zero, or if it's below about 4 degrees (when water starts to expand, I believe - and that's when my car starts giving me warnings). And what exactly should I do? I have some plants in pots (fuschia, delphinium, roses, agapanthus) - is it the plant that needs protection or the roots? I live in Holland and my local garden centre only has bubble wrap for protecting plants, not fleece, so I assume that's not for covering up the plant itself.

  • Arn't you supposed to lift the Dahlias out of the ground, bring them in and dry them out till next spring? well at least thats what the gardeners world team say. If fleece works by protecting my Dahlias, then where can i get some from? It gets quite cold here in Rutland.

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