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Frost hardy    [ Horticulture ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

Synonyms: Hardy, Cold resistant, Winter hardy, Frost tollerant.
  Plants that are able to survive winter frosts without damage to their leaves (ie Evergreens), stems (ie succulents) or damage to perennating organs like dormant  buds or roots (ie Deciduous plants).  
The term 'frost hardy' is often misleading because of the degrees of frost (i.e. light frost vs. hard killing frost) in fact there is not an universal standard to define frost resistance of plants according to their ability to survive degrees of frost. Frost hardines is very much relative to geographic areas.

Hardy plants can tolerate frost but vary in the severity and duration they can survive.
Here a common classification of  plant hardiness:
  • Frost hardy plants can stay alive even when temperatures go down to -5C
  • Fully hardy plants can cope with short spells as low as -15C.
  • Half-hardy plants cannot tolerate frost can survive when temperatures go down to 0C.
  • Tender plants maybe damaged by low temperatures below 5C.

These are general guidelines because if a plant is in a protected or sheltered spot it might well survive lower temperatures.

    See also: Cold resistantance  





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