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It was predicted to be 34F degrees last night, 32Fdegrees tonight and 28F degrees Friday night. Luckily it rained recently, which is good, because cold weather is less dangerous for plants if the soil is not dry. Yesterday we brought some frost- sensitive plants that were in containers indoors. These included some out of season tomatoes, zucchini, small turnip and onion plants, some basil, oregano, a starfish cactus, an unusual orchid, the begonias, some small pepper plants, the avocado trees in containers, and one container of aloe. The ones that were in containers that were less sensitive. like one of the norfolk pines, the broccoli, and the arugula, or less important to us, like the sedums and spider plants, we left outdoors. However, we did move the outdoor plants in containers close to each other to increase soil insulation, and we put Christmas lights in the two fenced gardens to raise the temperature a little, and covered the flowerbeds with drop cloths for insulation. I also piled up oak leaves around the base of a young roselle fruit tree that was in the ground to protect the roots and trunk. The piled up leaves will need to be removed after the cold weather passes to avoid fungal growth on the tree. Some plants may not make it, others will. Some, like the Mexican petunias, may die back, but should grow again from the roots. Certain butterfly plants, like pentas, may turn brown and unsightly from the cold. However, they should be left as is until spring, when they can be cut back so that there will be new growth. Although we brought in one container of aloe, we did not have room for it all, so the rest will just have to take its chances. However, the aloe, poinsettias and some of the other subtropical plants have the benefit of being between two carports south and north, under an east facing oak tree, and in front of the building and a hedge from the west. So they are relatively protected. Most of the plants in the South garden (hibiscus, juniper, mexican petunias or purple showers, azaleas, nasturtiums, and mexican heather) are exposed, but resistant to frost. We did bring in the avocados in containers, but the other plants outside the fence on the exposed west side will just have to take their chances. These include irises, which should be ok, tropical sage, lawn orchids (a rare plant originating in Japan that some people think is a weed. I like the tiny white flowers and let it grow because it is rare), feverfew, society garlic, coleus, and some amaryllis bulbs. Most of them will be ok or come back from a root system or seeds. I am a little worried about the coleus and amaryllis, but they are in the ground and the coleus has buds on it, and I think they needed to stay there. The lawn orchids do not survive being transplanted, so I just left them. I also had protected some coleus in one of the fenced spots.

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