Citrus crop and fickle plants weather temperature drops

Photo provided by staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:09pm

Horticulturalist Bob Souvestre was up bright and early Wednesday morning, checking the plants at LSU’s Burden Agricultural Extension Center for any signs of frost damage.

"Some may be obvious and some may be a little hidden. The obvious part is if the green leaf turns black or discolored. It could be a portion of the whole leaf or part of the steam," explained Souvestre.

But it was good news all around, even for the fickle citrus trees.

"Mild freezes aren't a problem whatsoever, but otherwise the fruit itself can withstand down to the mid 20's," said Souvestre.

Though our Louisiana plants and sensitive citrus trees fared pretty well through Wednesday morning's temperature drop it is important to remember in the weeks and months to come that a few more degrees could make a big difference.

"A half a degree or a degree can mean the difference between life and death for a plant," warned Souvestre.

So keeping your plants safe and warm at the first sign of deep temperature drops, is always a good idea.

"To best protect the plant you want to cover it with cloth or plastic, you can build a frame using wood, pipe, plastic pipe, anything like that. It’s better to keep the fabric off the foliage. That helps just maintain the heat that radiates upward from the soil also it prevents wind from dehydrating or drying out the foliage," added Souvestre.
 

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