It sounds like a gardener's dream -- a spray that will safely make plants hardier. And that is exactly what researchers at the University of Alabama and Miami University in Ohio have developed. As described in a report published recently in the journal HortTechnology, the all-natural foliar spray protects plants both externally and systemically from the cold by enhancing their natural ″anti-freeze″ properties. According to an article on the ScienceDaily® website, the scientists say that treating a plant with the spray, which they have christened FreezePruf, is like moving it 200 miles to the south, for a gain in cold hardiness that is equivalent to about a half a hardiness zone.
What's in the spray that causes this effect? The scientists won't say exactly as they await a patent on their product, but they do note that it is non-toxic and made from ″either human food ingredients or [those] used in the human food production chain.″ They say it is environmentally friendly and doesn't damage foliage, fruits, or flowers, while increasing their resistance to cold damage and cold mortality.
While not yet commercially available, according to one of its developers, ″Based on effectiveness data and its non-toxic, ecofriendly formulation, our research suggests that FreezePruf can offer significant benefits to both residential and commercial users.″ So stay tuned!
To read more about FreezePruf, go to: ScienceDaily.
Article published on January 11, 2012.