VOLUME 7RHard Freeze: How to Care for Plants in the Winter
By Anna Quinn
Dealing with freezing temperatures isn't out of the question for those living in Texas and Florida. In fact, both states have seen unusually cold, and sometimes record-breaking, winters in recent years. The cold weather can wreak havoc on outdoor plants or landscaping and might change the best way to care for plants indoors too.

Here’s how tenants can protect their homes and greenery when freezing weather strikes.

Protect Outdoor Plants
Assuming lawn care is a responsibility in the lease, there are many ways tenants can help protect home gardens or regular landscaping during cold temperatures and harsh winter weather. If tenants plant their own vegetable gardens or decorative plants, they can monitor frost season dates in the Farmer’s Almanac for each state.

Certain types of plants will do better in colder seasons than others. Tropical houseplants, tender summer annuals and summer herbs, and/or vegetables are among plant types that should be brought inside or avoided during colder seasons.

For winter storms or shorter frosts, insulating outdoor plants with mulch, shredded leaves or even newspapers can prevent freezing, according to retailer Home Depot. Tenants can also wrap their plants with a plant cover, garden blanket or burlap. Bring hanging or potted plants under the cover of a porch or shed until the weather passes too.

Cold weather will also change when outdoor plants should be watered. Tenants should water plants thoroughly several days ahead of expected cold weather, but resist watering during the freezing temps. If winter storms bring snowfall, the weight of snow can also impact plants. Remove it with snow blowers or shovels.

Indoor Plants Need Extra Care
Even houseplants that stay in the warmth of the indoors during cold months might need some adjustments in care during the winter season. Just as with outdoor plants, tenants might want to explore what houseplants are best for the winter season. Generally, low maintenance and low-light plants—including succulents, rubber plants or aloe vera—are the best options. Tenants can search for houseplants using these specific categories at retail stores.

No matter the type, houseplants will need less water during the winter given that shorter days slow down their growth, according to Homes and Gardens. This also means feeding houseplants isn’t necessary.

Moving houseplants to a new location depending on the season can be a good idea. Tenants should make sure plants get maximum sunlight given the shorter days but are far enough away from drafty windows to not get cold. They should also be kept away from heaters, which can create inconsistent temperatures or dry out the air.

Other care tips include dusting plants regularly so their pores don’t clog up with debris and checking them for pests, which are more common during the dry air of winter. Whether indoors or outdoors, keeping an eye on changes in temperature and seasonal changes helps considerably for tenants with a green thumb.