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Living in Arizona Tips

Long Realty is pleased to bring you tips for Living in Arizona, courtesy of our local Long Advantage business partners. The articles below covers an array of helpful and insightful tips for the Arizona lifestyle. We hope you find this information useful.

Caring for your Arizona landscape in Winter

December 25, 2013

Tucson winter seasons and how it can relate to frost damage and care of your landscape.

Arizona’s fluctuating high and low temperatures don’t only have us saying “oh!” and “eeek”, so are the plants we have in our yards! With 110-degree summers and winters that are unpredictable, with one week at 40-degrees and the next 81-degrees, it’s hard to know the best way to care for your plants.

Just after getting acclimated to the extreme heat, plants can get hit by “the worst frost Tucson has seen in 100 years”. That extreme temperature fluctuation can happen often, so what to do? Here are some tips that might be helpful to you.

Does where you live make a difference? YES.
Lower areas are susceptible to frost where cold air settles, rather than the Foothills areas where temperatures tend to stay warmer. Colder areas are mostly along the washes (e.g. the Rillito River), and one of the worst areas that freezes with regular consistency is the Tanque Verde wash and golf course. Plants and trees that flourish in other parts of Tucson will not make it through the first winter here.

1. Our first frost of winter “usually” comes during the night when the clouds clear after the first rain during the winter months.

2. Covering your plants with cloth not plastic* is helpful to protect them against severe frost. However, most plants even though the leaves have turned brown, recover in the spring.

*Plastic will transfer the cold when touching the plant.

So what should you do?
1. Cover expensive cactus and exotic plants in severe frost. The effort is worth the cost of damage.

2. Lantana, Bougainvillea and other similar plants usually turn brown, but will grow back in spring.

Citrus Trees
Citrus trees are also susceptible to severe frost. Most lemons froze to the ground in the last two years in the severe 100 year frost, and even though they appear to be coming back, they are only suckers from the sour orange trunk they were grafted on to.

When to prune
I recommend you wait and prune your frost damaged plants and ground cover at least until the end of February. Even though they are unsightly, the dead growth is a blanket of cover for what is still alive below.

There are some additional seasonal pruning tips and tips relating to watering and care of your landscape that I would be glad to share with you. Please contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Article provided courtesy of Cherry Landscape. For more information contact Cherry Landscape at 292.9776 or visit their website at

The information contained in these articles are provided by local area businesses. We believe this information to be accurate and reliable, but it is not guaranteed.