Treatments for Freeze Damage
Dorothy Fingerhood writes:
> Can anyone explain how washing the plants off
> well seems to help? I can see the somewhat translucent-appearing, dark green
> leaves slowly changing back to a more normal shade of gray-glue-green as I do
> it. Does this actually thaw the leaf before the sun hits it and the cells
> rupture? But the water freezing in the plant cells is the problem, isn't it?
> How does the sun figure in, or is that just an old husband's tale?
It depends on how deep the freeze is. The water freezing inside the plant cells
is the problem. Washing them off with warm water helps keep the intracellular
water from freezing _if_ the ambient temperature isn't too low. The damage is
actually done when the cells freeze, it just isn't visible until the sun hits it
and thaws it out.
Sometimes I freeze iris petals for comparison purposes, because the frozen
petals hold their color quite nicely. Once thawed, however, they turn to pale
By the way, the hot water trick works even better on seed pods than on buds.
But it _is_ hard on the neighbors. One of mine took a picture of the process
because she didn't think anyone would believe it!
Sharon McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunny Southern New Mexico, where it's been known to snow during peak onco bloom