The other day I saw a woman walking out of a big box store with a huge tropical houseplant in her cart. The plant wasn’t covered, and it was close to zero degrees F outside that day.
At that temperature, it takes seconds for a plant’s foliage to start to freeze. I’m not sure who I feel worse for, the lady or the plant.
This poor lady spent all that money and is probably so excited about her beautiful new plant…only for it to quickly start to turn brown and die over the next few days.
I’m sure she’ll wonder what she’s doing wrong that’s killing the plant.
Did she over water it? Under water it? Not give it enough light?
I bet it won’t even cross her mind that it froze to death shortly after she paid for it. It was a goner before she even got it into her house. She might get lucky and the exposure won’t be fatal, but there will definitely be significant damage to the foliage.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen something like this happen during the winter here in Minnesota. But it never ceases to amaze me that people don’t think this could be bad for the plant.
So think about this the next time you buy a houseplant in the winter. Before you leave the store, take an extra minute to make sure the plant is fully wrapped. Then take it directly home, don’t leave it in the car while you run other errands. The less time it’s exposed to the freezing temps, the better off it will be.
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