Will sub freezing temperatures kill my plant?

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steezskeez95

steezskeez95

What’s up everyone,

I come here asking for tips and any advice on keeping a flowering plant alive in cold temperatures. My girl (afghani landrace) is looking so so nice right now, and probably has another month before harvest. The buds were just starting to stack and trichs just starting to glisten.

Unfortunately, a freak snow storm is rolling in in a couple of days. Temps are calling for upper 20s for a night, and then mid 30s for two nights. The day time temps will be in the mid 30s, to mid 40s until the storm passes. There is also a chance of some snow. It’s been very hot lately (90 degrees), and will warm up to the 70s by the end of the week.

It’s far too early to harvest, and I’m guessing the weather will be nice until around mid October, which is typical for where I live.

I am planning on covering the plant (which is inside a cage), with a fabric frost guard and an insulated curtain. Is there anything else you think would help? I am hoping because it will be wet and it’s been very warm, that should keep things from freezing. I would be super bummed if I lost this harvest though.

Additional information — the plant is in a 30 gallon smart pot and is about 3 feet by 4 or 5 feet. It is an afghani so I’m hoping it’s a little hardier. I’ve attached a few pictures for context with regards to covering it at night (and most likely during the day). Let me know if you have any advice!

Cheers
 
pinetarbiscuits

pinetarbiscuits

If you can manage to cover the whole thing to keep warmth in... Then you might be alright. Maybe wrap it with an electric pipe heater wrapping, like they use to prevent pipes freezing. Just insulate it the best you can otherwise.
 
pinetarbiscuits

pinetarbiscuits

If you can access electricity you can put a 5 gallon bucket of water with an aquarium heater in it. That is how I keep my well house heated in the winter. You can also use a small gas powered generator if no power available. My buddy built bon fires around his plants last fall to get extra finishing time.
 
Grownsince95

Grownsince95

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In VT we use the little construction site heaters that attach to the top of propane tanks in addition to covering them as much as we can, but some years they're just too big. Good luck! Yeah the mountain states getting a pounding this week. Going from 98 to 37 in Denver in 48 hrs
 
Greatlakes

Greatlakes

The good news is your plants are very small and easy enough to cover.
Frosts as long as they are not a hard frost usually wont hurt plants if it's for a short time (as long as they are established)
It's the younger plants you have to worry about more
Had mine as low as 25 without a hiccup.

So here is my advice since I go through frosts all the time. Make sure the soil is watered. It helps insulate the roots. If the roots freeze then jts game over.
Cover them up...I personally like sheets and blankets vs plastics because I like the gas exchange to happen.

Go out as late as possible and stick several bottles of hot water at the base of the plant. I usually put something on the ground tho to protect the roots from the hot bottle of water

Remove what ever cover you use as soon as the sun comes up.

Know it will probably look wilted when you first see them but after a few hours they will bounce right back.
 
steezskeez95

steezskeez95

In VT we use the little construction site heaters that attach to the top of propane tanks in addition to covering them as much as we can, but some years they're just too big. Good luck! Yeah the mountain states getting a pounding this week. Going from 98 to 37 in Denver in 48 hrs
I’ll look into construction site heaters, that seems like a good idea. The plant is too far up the hill behind my house to get any electricity up there.

Ugh look at this forecast now. I can’t believe it’s calling for 3-5 INCHES in SEPTEMBER LOL. That has never happened here. I might be SOL.
 
steezskeez95

steezskeez95

If you can manage to cover the whole thing to keep warmth in... Then you might be alright. Maybe wrap it with an electric pipe heater wrapping, like they use to prevent pipes freezing. Just insulate it the best you can otherwise.
Oh I’m gonna wrap it in everything I have. Curtains, blankets, ski jackets, etc. It’s gonna be very windy too it looks. I can’t believe we’re getting a legit winter storm in September. I feel bad for all the farmers where I live. Electrical pipe heater wrapping is a good idea. Thanks man.
 
steezskeez95

steezskeez95

The good news is your plants are very small and easy enough to cover.
Frosts as long as they are not a hard frost usually wont hurt plants if it's for a short time (as long as they are established)
It's the younger plants you have to worry about more
Had mine as low as 25 without a hiccup.

So here is my advice since I go through frosts all the time. Make sure the soil is watered. It helps insulate the roots. If the roots freeze then jts game over.
Cover them up...I personally like sheets and blankets vs plastics because I like the gas exchange to happen.

Go out as late as possible and stick several bottles of hot water at the base of the plant. I usually put something on the ground tho to protect the roots from the hot bottle of water

Remove what ever cover you use as soon as the sun comes up.

Know it will probably look wilted when you first see them but after a few hours they will bounce right back.
How do you think snow factors into this? I would think it would help, along with it being wet and fairly humid. It’s now calling for 3-5 inches, which I have a hard time believing given the time of year, but crazier things have happened this year lol. I’ll make sure to cover the plant up well though, in addition to putting hot water bottles around the base. Thank you!
 
Grownsince95

Grownsince95

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Supporter
I’ll look into construction site heaters, that seems like a good idea. The plant is too far up the hill behind my house to get any electricity up there.

Ugh look at this forecast now. I can’t believe it’s calling for 3-5 INCHES in SEPTEMBER LOL. That has never happened here. I might be SOL.
We have a few of these and try to surround the plants as best we can but only ever grow 2 plants so...

You could probably find a better price than that too imo. Also check the tanks periodically because if the flow rate is too high they will freeze up too.
 
mysticepipedon

mysticepipedon

You seem to have a good handle on it.

Mid-30s will not hurt your plants, they just won't grow or mature at all during that time. It's those initial high-20s that you'll have to get by. If it only dips below 32 for a short period, you may be find.

If you are covering with cloth rather than plastic, soak it. Water stays at 32 until it's completely frozen before it drops further. This could give your plants the extra time above freezing that they need to make it as unscathed as possible.

Snow should help insulate, too, especially when you soak down the soil and surrounding area with water.
 
Greatlakes

Greatlakes

How do you think snow factors into this? I would think it would help, along with it being wet and fairly humid. It’s now calling for 3-5 inches, which I have a hard time believing given the time of year, but crazier things have happened this year lol. I’ll make sure to cover the plant up well though, in addition to putting hot water bottles around the base. Thank you!
The snow does help actually. Itd when you have low temps and clear skys that I worry.
My advice is what I've done for when I first transplant and we get freak weather. At this time of yr my plants are too big to cover or so much with. I just make sure they are watered and they always do fine... but I grow in a lot of compost and that is a great deal warmer then normal soil.
 
Madmax

Madmax

The good news is your plants are very small and easy enough to cover.
Frosts as long as they are not a hard frost usually wont hurt plants if it's for a short time (as long as they are established)
It's the younger plants you have to worry about more
Had mine as low as 25 without a hiccup.

So here is my advice since I go through frosts all the time. Make sure the soil is watered. It helps insulate the roots. If the roots freeze then jts game over.
Cover them up...I personally like sheets and blankets vs plastics because I like the gas exchange to happen.

Go out as late as possible and stick several bottles of hot water at the base of the plant. I usually put something on the ground tho to protect the roots from the hot bottle of water

Remove what ever cover you use as soon as the sun comes up.

Know it will probably look wilted when you first see them but after a few hours they will bounce right back.
Agree the frost or snow shouldnt hurt them like you said..ive had young ones out in the ground with zero temp and the frost wont cut them unless its a quick thaw .ive hardly loist any.its pretty wicked seeing them all frosty.
 
steezskeez95

steezskeez95

The snow does help actually. Itd when you have low temps and clear skys that I worry.
My advice is what I've done for when I first transplant and we get freak weather. At this time of yr my plants are too big to cover or so much with. I just make sure they are watered and they always do fine... but I grow in a lot of compost and that is a great deal warmer then normal soil.

Would you still recommend taking the cover off during the day even if it is snowing out? It looks like it will be 28-30 and snowing Tuesday morning from 6am-noon. That’s when it will be the coldest, so I’m inclined to leave the cover on. Would it be a good idea to put a couple large pots of boiling water around the base? I’ll be at home all day Tuesday, which is the worst day of the storm. So I’ll have time to keep adding heat.

Thanks again for all the insight, really appreciate it!
 
Greatlakes

Greatlakes

Would you still recommend taking the cover off during the day even if it is snowing out? It looks like it will be 28-30 and snowing Tuesday morning from 6am-noon. That’s when it will be the coldest, so I’m inclined to leave the cover on. Would it be a good idea to put a couple large pots of boiling water around the base? I’ll be at home all day Tuesday, which is the worst day of the storm. So I’ll have time to keep adding heat.

Thanks again for all the insight, really appreciate it!
I would wait til it stops snowing.. but make sure that what ever you have on it...sheet blanket ...etc gets dusted off regularly. A few inches of snow is a lot of weight and can fall down and crush your plant. The boiling water is fine but make sure you have something between that and the soil... remember your feeder roots are just right below the soil surface and you dont want to cook them.
 
pinetarbiscuits

pinetarbiscuits

I’ll look into construction site heaters, that seems like a good idea. The plant is too far up the hill behind my house to get any electricity up there.

Ugh look at this forecast now. I can’t believe it’s calling for 3-5 INCHES in SEPTEMBER LOL. That has never happened here. I might be SOL.
The thing about snow is that it insulates. You cover up and you will be fine!
 
steezskeez95

steezskeez95

Hey everyone,

I thought I’d post an update on how the plant fared through the summer snowstorm we got. It stayed around 31 degrees for about 36 hours and we got 5 inches of snow. The low got to around 27, however it was pretty humid and snowing, keeping things from freezing. With three insulating covers during that time, and a blanket over the base of the plant, it survived!!! In fact the flowers look extra frosty now. I also kept hot water bottles at the base of the plant for most of the cold snap. Some of the leaves have a nice purple hue now.

Thanks again for the insight everybody!
 
N.OntarioMedGrower

N.OntarioMedGrower

Oh I’m gonna wrap it in everything I have. Curtains, blankets, ski jackets, etc. It’s gonna be very windy too it looks. I can’t believe we’re getting a legit winter storm in September. I feel bad for all the farmers where I live. Electrical pipe heater wrapping is a good idea. Thanks man.

four or five years back I forgot a stand of ten plants back in the bush. While out hunting, came across them in mid November in light snow/repeated frosts
and heavy downpours (we call them the "Witches of November") surprisingly . . . very little damage, the weather had done a good job of trimming the fan leaves and mould had its tole on 1/5th of the bud but the massive buds that remained were tight, tall and proud.
Ice bud type of results. Would not repeat on purpose and have cut back on how much I consume so my memory is better. A moose would leave me with no story to tell as would an angry beaver or two.

The minor frosts we have coming will result in frost and possibly ice on your plants, some will carry mould regardless of cover, its a natural decomposition thing but your plants will lose some fan leaves and carry on. I guess that's why we oldsters call it "Weed"?
 
One drop

One drop

Bush Doctor
Staff member
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The cold will make them stack on the trichomes .....
 
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