Make a Frost Shelter for Young Citrus (+Video)

young citrusNot everyone handles cold weather gracefully. A peach, a pear, a plum – they don’t bat an eye, with no foliage on board they breeze through. Citrus, Tamarillo, Avocado – the young ones do it tough in my cool, mountain zone. To keep them ticking along happily I make them a frost proof shelter for the first 3 or 4 winters. Something to soften the blow of that deadly freezing air/ freezing soil combo. Variety plays a big part, so if your garden gets frosty be sure to choose citrus suited to cooler climes.

The most basic shelter is a suntrap – an insulating wall on the cold southside to block chilly draughts and capture the sun when it shines in.

Avocado protected

There’s plenty of options – use straw bales, old windows, bubble wrap, or plant on the north side of a building for reflected heat. Create a lid from a bit of plastic and bingo! You got shelter!

Sturdy is important. You want your shelter to out last the frosts and handle both wind and rain.

Go the full nine yards with a shelter made from frost cloth, like this. Frost cloth is fab – it’s purpose made and reusable. And I love having a lid (how cosy is that lemonade!) Bang four stakes in – one each corner, leaving loads of room for growth. From this one mission comes three winters worth of protection. Just tie the frost cloth on each May/ late autumn and take it off when frosts are over late spring. Job tidy.

lemonade frost protection


Video: Simple Frost Protection for Citrus



  1. Christine Chatterton says

    Thanks for the reminder!!!

  2. Thanks for the advice! My baby avocado nearly didn’t make it through last winter, even with frostcloth on coldest days. I’m doing two layers now, and vaporgard spray.
    Will it harm a tree if it is covered on a warm day? It might get rather hot in there if temp is 17 or 18.