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Sandy Loam

"Windchill" temperature & plants

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Sandy Loam

Plants are only affected by the actual, real temperature, correct?  They do not feel the "windchill temperature", do they? 

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Silas_Sancona

How affected by wind chill depends on the plant type itself.. and how it is naturally adapted to handle the effects. Cold winds blowing over leaves, etc can further chill foliage, flowers, etc( via dessication)  and render damage similar to what happens here in the desert when you have a prolonged wind  event, combined with high temps and very low humidity values.  That's one reason everyone in California dreads the Santa Annas.. somewhat similar damage effects to wind chill, just caused by  blast furnace heat/ lack of moisture ( foliage of sensitive plants dries out faster, more prone to sun-burn). 

If I remember correctly, softer leaved tropicals are the first to respond adversely to wind chill. Harder- leaved plants, especially anything theater originates from colder or drier climates typically should have some degree of tolerance to drying/ chilling effects. This is why you'd plant things like Gingers, and other leaf sensitive plants in an area that offers some degree of protection( under higher canopy, against a south- facing wall, for example) from the wind, especially during cold spells. 

Pretty sure palms follow similar reasoning. After the 2010 freeze in FL, you could see how much more, or less damage two of the same Adonidia palms, for example, received based on how much protection they had from not just direct cold exposure, but wind chill exposure. Same was true when I'd look over the more sensitive palm species planted in Kopsick Palmateum's collection in St. Pete after the same cold spell, among others that I'd witnessed. 

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TexasColdHardyPalms

Plants aren't affected by the "wind chill" itself, but the strong the wind coupled with the dew point will do two things that will expedite damage: First there is stored heat in the tissue of the plant and is why on completely calm days you will receive substantially more damage when the temp drops to 20F and stays there for 3-4 hours opposed to an event where it touches 20F for 15 minutes then warms up.  The wind will exacerbate the cooling of tissue and the plant tissue will be closer to ambient as the stored heat has been removed faster.  With respect to cold damage - the ambient temperature doesn't damage the plants, its the temperature of the tissue that causes the damage.  Case in point if you grab a lipstick palm off the patio on a 90 degree day and then place it in the freezer for 30 seconds you will receive zero foliage damage because the tissue temperature never dropped more than a few degrees which is well above the point where cold damage occurs.  

The other desiccating effect @Silas_Sancona covered.

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Sandy Loam

This is very informative.  Thank you.

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