Phoenix is blessed with mild winter temperatures, but several times each winter the night time and early morning temperatures are forecasted to be low enough to cause a freeze warning to be issued. It is very possible for a freeze warning to be issued sometime in January, which is typically the coldest month of the year in the Phoenix Metro area. Several species of plants, such as cape honeysuckle and citrus trees, are very sensitive to freezing temperatures. Knowing how to protect your plants during freezing weather can keep them healthy and prevent them from dying.
Before planting anything in your yard you should be familiar with the type of plant it is and the type of care it requires. While freezing temperatures are not common in Phoenix, you should still plant frost sensitive plants in warm areas of the yard, such as against a wall which faces south or west.
Plants should be watered regularly during the cold winter months. Moist soil can actually trap the heat from the sun, which can protect a plant from weather that is too cold. Watering should always be done in the morning hours so the leaves have time to dry before night falls. If a freeze warning is issued citrus trees, which are very sensitive, can benefit from a deep soaking.
If a freeze is predicted plants should be covered with a large sheet, or a light blanket. For best results, trees should be as dry as possible before being covered. Plastic tarps should not be used, as this material traps water on the plant, which can cause extensive damage during a freeze. With proper care most plants common in the Phoenix area will continue to thrive and produce flowers after a freeze.