Published: Dec 14, 2010 11:44 PM EST
Updated: Dec 14, 2010 8:44 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Back-to-back chilly nights make landscaping particularly vulnerable to the cold, but some simple steps can go a long way in protecting your plants.

The best way to protect your plants from the cold is to bundle them up. Insulated cloth is ideal, but even something as simple as a bed sheet will do.

Stephen Brown of the University of Florida is a gardening guru, walking WINK News through the in's and out's of protecting the hundreds of dollars rooted in your backyard.

"The thing is if we get a lot a cold fronts, one after the other just bam, bam, bam, this is bad for these plants and it's just going to bring down their resistance," Brown said Tuesday.

The first line of defense against the dip in temperatures is giving your soil a good soak.

"The roots are going to pick up the water, it will strengthen the plant for the next 24 hours and it will make the plant much more cold resistant," Brown said.

Brown recommends moving potted plants, particularly tropical varieties, inside or flush against a wall.

"This is a brace against the wind, and that's important," he said.

When you're covering plants, start with your most pricey and aim to cover foliage and the bud...instead of the stronger trunk and lower body of the plant. If you do notice brown spots, don't dust off the shears just yet.

"Even if the leaves are damaged, that is actually still the blanket for the plant, because each leaf will prevent the interior leaf from being damaged," Brown said.

If you do find some cold weather damage on your plants, it's best not to prune until all the cold weather passes. Experts say the best time to start cutting away is actually late February or March.