Freeze Damage of Agave -Aloe -Cactus -Yucca

Disease Information

Freeze Damage

Symptoms and damage

Many of the more showy and exotic succulents originated in frost-free climates. As a result, when temperatures remain below freezing for several hours, they suffer freeze damage. The damage originally manifests itself as blackening of the exposed parts of the plant .After

a few weeks, the blackened area will dry out and become crisp.

When exposed to a severe freeze, portions of columnar cacti will yellow, and then die completely .In freeze-damaged barrel-type cactus, the margins of ribs become

straw yellow. If temperatures are not substantially below freezing (a “hard freeze”) and the freeze lasts for only a few hours or less


Freeze damage can be prevented. It is important to become acquainted with temperature requirements of the particular species. Protective measures often can be taken to assure survival. Cold-sensitive plants should be grown in areas that receive radiated heat at night from a patio or wall or in hilly areas where air temperatures are slightly warmer.

Covering the plant with a cotton sheet will help on nights that are just at or slightly below freezing. Another strategy is to place a 60-watt light bulb under the cotton sheet, taking care that the light bulb does not touch the plant or the cotton sheet. Do not cover the plant with plastic sheeting. Plastic is a poor insulator and will transfer the cold directly to the plant wherever it touches the plant. Containerized plants can be moved indoors until freezing weather has passed. If kept dry and placed in a brightly lighted area, they will survive without damage.



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