We are forecast to have frost tonight here in Hemet, so I wanted to remind everyone of a few key points regarding frost tender plants.
Let me start by explaining what frost is. The term frost can mean that dew froze on the leaves of the plants overnight, or it can also refer to the temperature dropping below freezing (32 degrees F). So your tropical plants can be damaged whether the conditions are wet or dry. Some plants that are very sensitive can even be killed if left out too long in temperatures that are below freezing.
We usually get several nights of frost each winter. Some areas of our valley get more frost than others, so what plants you can grow can vary a lot depending where you are. If you're in Valle Vista it's slightly warmer, whereas San Jacinto is the coldest area. The reason for this is that the cold air goes to the lowest spot, and Valle Vista is slightly higher than San Jacinto, generally. The warmest spots are hilltops, and the coldest spots are the low spots in between.
It's very important to either cover or bring indoors (if possible) any frost sensitive plants you may have. The best thing to cover and protect your plants would be a frost blanket, like the one pictured below. This blanket will actually keep your plants 6 to 8 degrees warmer than the outside air. It's made of a special material that allows air circulation, so it can be left on plants for a longer period of time than a heavier material. We currently have them in stock, in several different sizes, here at the nursery.
In a pinch, you can also use another material, such as burlap or a tarp, to cover your plants. Just remember to take it off during the day. Never use plastic! It doesn't allow air circulation, and can actually burn plants worse when it's touching their leaves.
Some examples of frost tender plants are Tropical Hibiscus, Angel Trumpets, Fuschias, Plumerias (extra sensitive), Elepant Ears, Bougainvillea, Pygmy Date Palms, Succulents, and certain Citrus trees. The most frost tender Citrus are Limes and Eureka Lemons. The most cold hardy citrus are Kumquats, Tangerines, and Meyer Lemons. These typically don't freeze here, but if they're very small you may still want to cover them.
There are many other tropical plants that people grow here. You can message us or call us at (951) 766-7755 if you have a question about a specific plant.