KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- As freeze warnings are forecast for East Tennessee, it's time to protect your plants.
Bring outdoor potted plants inside during frost warnings. But be sure to put them back outside when temperatures increase.
For plants that are planted outside, make sure there's anywhere between two to four inches of mulch around them. That keeps the ground protected from freezing overnight.
When covering plants, one suggestion is hammering stakes around the perimeter. Then put a plastic or blanket cover over the stakes. This keeps leaves and branches from breaking.
For smaller plants, cover them with an upside down cardboard box. But remove the box as temperatures rise.
A good rule of thumb for the best time to cover plants is right before sunset. That traps some of the day's heat.
If there's damage to plants, decrease watering to avoid root rot. And hold off on pruning damage from plants. Some growth may return in spring.