Adonis – Extremely Frost Hardy!
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Walter Krivda
Posted on: October 31, 2001

A little report to you:

The Adonis seed you sent has flowered when planted late.

It is the most frost hardy plant I have ever grown. We had minus 10 degrees Celsius yesterday [October in The Pas, Manitoba, USDA Zone 3] and the plants are still unfrozen. We had 3 millimeters of ice in the rainwater barrel – still Adonis remaining unfrozen.

You might list this in your next catalogue as EXTREMELY FROST HARDY!

Thank you for sharing this so other cold-area gardeners may benefit.

It is truly amazing how some plants can persist unaffected when freezing temperatures arrive in fall and water nearby is frozen. After all, plants are made up of more than 95% water themselves.

Still, the ability of a plant to withstand freezing temperatures (frost hardiness), does not necessarily mean that the plant will survive the winter. That’s because winter hardiness depends on more attributes than just the ability to take a late fall freezing. Plants also must be able to withstand the freezing and thawing in spring, and this freezing and thawing is the reason why a winter mulch applied in the late fall or early winter is so important. The mulch insulates the ground to keep it frozen during the late winter period when freezing and thawing is occuring, and prevents plants from trying to regrow when their roots are still frozen. A good snow cover does the trick in many areas, but where snow is unreliable, the addition of straw, leaves or branches is very helpful.

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