Does Spraying Plants with Water Prevent Frost Damage

All plants need a good drink of water. Does that mean you can spray plants to prevent frost damage? Spraying plants with water before a cold night stops frosting. In the long run, because you’ve sprayed your plants with water you are heating the plants temperature to out beat the cold. There are more key factors to not about watering plants. Let’s take a further look into the world of growing plants.

Does it Work?

Let’s get right down the question at hand. If the weather has been dry, it is valid to water your landscape plants before a freeze occurs. Water it thoroughly from top to bottom. Plants that have not been watered enough tend to suffer more injury during freezes. But, here is a surprise. Watering plants do not actually provide any protection to tender plants. So, water plants to prevent frost damage is all based on your own instincts on how you feel about the process. 

What Happens to Plants Due to Frost Damage?

Due to frost damage, Plant cells can be damaged or even destroyed by frost. It’s a cycle. Plants that have to go through this repeated freezing and thawing or very rapid thawing can be damaging to plants.

It’s the tender plants that survive winter better than the average plant. Tender plants survive the winter better when planted in the sun. The reason why plants survive better is that new wood is ripened by the sun accumulating more carbohydrates during the growing season. The results of this process make plants more frost resistant to cold temperatures.

Spraying Plants with Water?

Aside from spraying plants with water to prevent frost, watering the plants is very important to keep your plant healthy. Other than helping plants grow, watering gets rid of dust and dirt. It is also gets rid of insect pests. However, you have to watch out because plants that have been wet for long long periods of time are subjected to diseases. Plants require a moist environment to grow. 

Always spray plants earlier in the day time rather than nightfall. That way plants have all day to dry under the sun. There’s no law that says you can’t spray plants down with water at night. It’s just a slower drying time because of the cooler temperatures at night. And, you guess it, there’s no sun.

How Does Plant Frost Occur?

Ground frost occurs when the temperature of the ground falls below the freezing point (0ºC/32ºF). When the temperature of the air falls below the freezing point that’s when air frost happens. 

Protecting Our Plants

All plant owners find it necessary to protect their plants from the possibility of freezing and dying. When plants are covered in ice, it can damage the plant, mainly the roots. Because of excessive water, you should consider other tactics to keep your plant protected. 

Study the temperature. If it does not go down below freezing, the rate of heat transfer from your plants, mainly from the earth around the roots that is, is a low temperature. Note if you see a lot of water present. The high heat of fusion means that it will time for the water to freeze on the plant. On a positive note, the plant makes it through the night without any damage. 

Don’t just assume that the frost will go away. Rather than exposing your plants to long winds, treat them to a more suitable sheltered area. 

The Right Way to React

Our first reactions to plant damage should not amass to horrific reactions like the way you’d scream in a horror movie. All plants are different. Some don’t have the resilience against frost damage. Look for signs of frost damage

Signs of Frost Damage on Plants

  • Pale brown patches on leaves
  • Peddles are blackened by frost in winter
  • Thin layers around plants
  • Spotting on leaves
  • Dark-green coloring

Spraying Your Plants is a Better Option

A better option is to spray your plants with water. When water freezes, it issues heat. So, if your plants have a small layer of water on the areas that freeze, it actually helps keep them warmer. Additionally, the sheet of ice (which is a good insulator) will then help keep the plant warmer through the cold spell.

When Should We Spray Plants?

Just before the freezing temperatures begin, spray the water on the plants to protect them from freezing temperatures. One spray won’t do. Spray plants constantly until the end. Liquid water must be continually sprayed for the protective benefits to occur. Once you stop spraying, the ice becomes the same temperature as the air and damage will occur.

Can Plants Get Damaged?

Spraying plants to prevent frost damage is not a practical technique used in the average landscape. It can lead to damage to the plant from the weight of the ice and destroy the roots from excessive water when it melts. 

Generally, rather than spray plants to prevent frost damage, you should cover your plants with sheets of plastic or fabric. It is more practical. Over time, We have seen what these freezing temperatures do to our crops and tropical areas. It is still worth preserving plants as most have simply been damaged by the frost and not killed.

How to Prevent Frost Damage to Plants

  • It may seem a little odd, but tuck your plants under a warm blanket at night. Bedsheets, drop cloths, blankets or plastic sheets make suitable covers for vulnerable plants who don’t handle frost well. Are you worried that they’ll blow off at night? Use wooden stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from touching foliage.
  • Cover plants with mulch for a short period. Other supplies to cover it with is straw or leaf mold. Once the danger of plant frost has passed, you can remove it. Always remove these coverings the next day.
  • Spray an anti-transpirant on the plant. This product is available at any plant shop. Spray it on the foliage of cold-sensitive plants to seal in moisture. One can of anti-transpirant protect plants for up to three months. Just coat the leaves with an invisible polymer film and frost won’t bother the plants.
  • Keep plants closer to the house so you can keep an eye on them better
  • If you would like, take a lamp that is designed for outdoor use and place it near the plant. The heat from lamps emits enough warmth to reduce frost damage from happening. Holiday lights serve a similar function, but be sure they don’t touch any covering materials. Steer away from LED lights. 


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