keep in mind that since container plants’ roots are more exposed due to being above ground level, they are especially susceptible to cold. Protect them either by placing them inside a protective structure, such as your house, garage, shed or greenhouse, or by placing a protective covering over them. You can also push container plants that are left outside together and mulch or cover them to decrease heat loss from the sides of the containers. Wrapping the bases of the containers in plastic, burlap or blankets may also help reduce heat loss.
Plants growing close to the ground are usually protected by heat radiating from the soil but taller, more open plants do not receive as much radiating heat and are therefore not as protected from the cold. Mulching helps reduce heat loss of the soil, thus minimizing temperature fluctuations. Protecting the roots of tender perennials may also be beneficial for them to survive the cold and come back in the spring.
Lastly, covering your plants with sheets, blankets or cardboard boxes can also add a level of protection from low temperature injury; however, plastic covering is not recommended. After the threat of freezing temperatures has passed, remove the cover and provide ventilation during the day to allow the release of the heat that is trapped by solar radiation. You can build a frame from PVC or similar material to keep the cover from coming in contact with the plant and possibly breaking leaves and stems.
Any questions? Contact the Liberty County Extension office at 912-876-2133 or email us at email@example.com. See the UGA website at www.ces.uga.edu or come by the office at 100 Main St, Suite 1200, Hinesville.