Plants with bacteria, whether beneficial or destructive, inside cells are more prone to frost/freeze injury. Ice crystals form easily around the bacteria.
Plants suffering less frost/freeze damage, such as lettuce, bluegrass, cabbage and spinach, generally have a high salt concentration within cells and less water.
Many plants are capable of withstanding temperatures of 28 degrees Fahrenheit before significant damage occurs. This is particularly true of flower blooms on fruit trees in the spring.
Cold tolerance is a matter of plant genetics, growing conditions, and how fast/slow the temperature is lowered. Plants are able to withstand a gradual reduction in temperature with less injury than a rapid change.
See: Frost; Freeze
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