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Some delicate ornamental plants don’t tolerate the cold well, even if well above the freezing mark. Orchids, houseplants, and new plantings are particularly at risk in the chill. Here are some suggestions for showing a green thumb when the mercury falls.

—Tropical plants that can be moved from outdoors should be moved.

—Move larger potted plants which can’t be brought inside close to the house, under the eaves, or under patio covers, where temperatures will be higher.

—For plants in the ground, throw a bedsheet or paint tarp, even visqueen, over larger plants. The cover should be removed when the sun comes up.

—If the winds pick up, consider watering your plants. Any plant that has been battered by winds and lower humidity will be endangered by low temperatures.

—If parts of your plants die because of the chill, don’t be too quick about trimming off the damaged or destroyed parts. They will protect the living part the plant from further damage.


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