‘Even if we can keep it a couple degrees warmer’

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Has Jack Frost been nipping at your tropical plants’ leaves? Protect them from plummeting temperatures with this viral bedsheet hack.

The scoop

Central Florida resident Andre the Farmer (@andrethefarmer) took to TikTok to reveal an easy hack. Southern gardeners can shield tender tropicals from winter’s chill using only a basic bedsheet and mulch.

@andrethefarmer How to protect your tropicals from the freeze #tropicalfruittrees #gardeningtips #andrethefarmer #permaculturelife #foryou #fyp ♬ original sound – Andre the farmer

Simply cover your plant to the ground with a sheet, making sure no cold air can sneak in from below. (You can swap the sheet for a basic plant cover, available at your local garden center or on Amazon.) Top the surrounding soil with a thick layer of hot compost or mulch, which will help radiate ground warmth upward.

Avoid plastic sheets or bags that don’t retain heat. With this trick, even the most delicate tropicals can stay snug despite freezes.

“Even if we can keep it a couple degrees warmer than the air temperature, that should be enough to save the tree,” Andre says.

The takeaway is clear — with a little covering and mulch, green thumbs can continue nurturing their tropical plant babies even through the iciest months.

How it’s helping

For homeowners living in climates conducive to gardening, growing food saves money on produce, improves mental and physical health, and reduces environmental impact by decreasing the demand for mass-produced, store-bought, and globally shipped produce.

However, preserving tropical species through chilly winters is no easy feat. Andre’s no-cost strategy means tropical plant lovers can protect delicate plants more easily without dropping hundreds of dollars on cold gear. Securing coverings with mulch or soil eliminates annoying billowing in the wind, too.

Most importantly, Andre’s strategy saves heat-loving plants, preventing disappointing spring die-offs after months of careful growing.

What everyone’s saying

Andre’s video already has over 1,800 likes, with gardeners across America raving about trying his simple method on their orchids, herbs, fruit trees, and more.

“In Houston, we hit in the teens last week,” one commenter said. “Mango didn’t survive. Should have done the mulch trick. I’ll know next time.”

“We’ve been in 20s,” a North Florida-based commenter shared. “Even more greenhouses didn’t work. Hibiscus died and many plants. We did do this and it did save a lot. Thanks!”

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