How Plants Are Damaged By Cold

Q: How are plants damaged by cold?

A: Plants experience cold damage due to ice forming in their cells. Hardy plants have strategies to reduce freeze damage. They do it by increasing cell wall elasticity, by lowering the freezing temperature of the liquid in the cells, or by allowing cells to lose moisture, thereby making less liquid available to freeze inside. Plants are less susceptible to freezing if they’ve been gradually exposed to cold as opposed to being exposed to one sharp drop in temperature. The best way to keep plants healthy in freezing weather is to water them before the cold arrives.

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