PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A Portland plant nursery is offering tips ahead of potentially freezing temperatures in some areas Wednesday night.

It’s the kind of weather that could kill some sensitive plants, depending how cold it gets, including citrus plants, certain succulents, and house plants left outside.

Wednesday is expected to be the coldest night of the fall season so far, with temperatures in Portland predicted to drop to around 35 degrees; in other areas, temperatures could hit freezing.

Education Director Nicole Forbes at Dennis’ Seven Dees Garden Center says it only takes one night of frost to kill a plant that can’t take it. Forbes helped cover some sensitive leaves at the garden center ahead of Wednesday night’s expected cold temperatures.

“Just that simple amount of insulation that it gives the plants can protect them from that frost later that would turn their little tender succulent leaves to ice crystals,” Forbes said.

According to Forbes, plants in different parts of people’s yards could get colder.

“Like the bottom of a slope is where cold air will pool, but the air will move on a slope, so the slope itself, the face of the slope, can be warmer than the bottom of the slope, and up against the house with an eave or even kind of a corner wall and fence protection, those add extra little buffers of warmth,” Forbes said.

In the garden center’s greenhouse, there are other plants that need protection, like citrus and some succulent plants. Forbes says anything freshly planted will also need protection.

“They’re more vulnerable, just like a baby is more vulnerable than a fully mature adult,” Forbes said.

According to Forbes, there’s an upside to the expected winter weather: frost usually helps bring out vibrant colors, and this is a great time of year for pansies. She says it’s also the time to plant things like garlic, tulips, daffodils, and kale.

Experts say you shouldn’t cover your plants in plastic and advise you use a breathable material instead, as plastic can warm the plants up too much and make them more sensitive to cold later on.

Also, if you think frost killed your plant, it could just be that the top of the plant froze but the roots are still okay, if you want to save it and see if it comes back next season.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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