Science on Sunday: How leaves tell us if it's safe to plant
Sensitive vegetation that has been planted in the ground or in pots could be damaged, but it all depends on the leaves.
Normally our last frost occurs on April 10th, and from what forecast models are indicating, there is a chance we could dip to freezing on Sunday night on the plateaus and Monday night, which could be more widespread.
It's during this time, sensitive vegetation that has been planted in the ground or in pots could be damaged, but it all depends on the leaves.
The waxier the leaves, the more moisture they hold. In this sense, in order for something to freeze, there needs to be some type of moisture. Leaves that hold less moisture, such as a maple tree, won't freeze due to less moisture.
Think of the wax as being a coat. The wax is the leaf cuticle. The thicker the wax (or coat) the more protection of the elements.
Comparing four different leaves from a Maple, Gardenia, Canna, and Aloe Vera plant and placing them in a freezer for 24 hours brought different results.
The Canna leaf continued to close, the Maple leaf wilted, the Aloe Vera began in the early stages of turning brown, while the Gardenia turned brown the quickest.
Out of the four leaves, the Gardenia leaf is the waxiest, and therefore contains more moisture!
Have a weather-related story idea? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.