Frost and Freeze Damage Hardiness Chart for Subtropical and Tropical Plants

The information below is based on my experience with subfreezing temperatures in Phoenix Arizona, and also on values from literature. Any plant that I have not actually had experience with being damaged is marked with an * or a $. The reason I have not seen this plant freeze is either that I have never allowed it to freeze or it simply hasn't ever frozen in my climate.

Listed below are the temperatures at which a plant starts to become damaged. Damage typically starts on the extremities of a plant and then works its way inward, so the amount of time that the plant is subjected to these temperatures is also important. Some plants have a much lower temperature at which branches will be damaged, but typically for subtropical and tropical plants the damage temperature for the leaves is the same as the branches. When a plant is subjected to lower temperatures, the damage will take place more rapidly. If a plant gets damaged enough it will not recover. Damage from dehydration of leaves due to frost above freezing is not a consideration in this chart. Only freeze damage that actually bursts plant cells is considered.

Some plants will recover even if they are completely frozen to the ground, as long as the ground does not freeze and they are established. These plants are marked with a # symbol. Plants growing back from roots will only be true to type if they are not grafted. For information on how to protect plants from freezing go to the Frost Damage article.

* = Has been protected so it has never frozen in my yard.
$ = Has never gotten cold enough to freeze in my yard.
# = Will recover from roots when frozen to the ground.
@ = Branches are significantly more hardy than the leaves. Branch freeze temperature shown after @ sign.

Frost and Freeze Damage Temperatures For Tropical and Subtropical Plants
Damage Temperature
32, 0 Adenium
Bougainville (#)
Carissa (#)
30, -1.1 Banana (#)
Ficus Benjamina
29, -1.7 Ambarella (*)
Guava (#)
Hibiscus (#)
Lantana (#)
Purple Passion Fruit (#)
Vinca Rosea
28, -2.2 Allspice
White Sapote (@22,-5.6)
27, -2.8 Ficus Nitida
Guabiju ($) - I have confirmed it survives untouched to 28°F. It might actually be as hardy as a Feijoa, since it is from the same climate.
Hong Kong Orchid Tree (#)
Jacaranda (@20,-6.6)
Yellow Oleander
26, -3.3 Grapefruit ($)
Lemon ($)
Lime ($)
25, -3.9 Tropical Bird Of Paradise ($)
24, -4.4 Jaboticaba ($)
Loquat ($)
Orange ($)
22, -5.6 Cherry Of The Rio Grande ($)
Winter Mexican Avocado ($)
20, -6.6 Madagascar Palm ($)
Mandarin ($)
15, -9.4 Kumquat ($)
Nerium Oleander ($)
12, -11.1 Feijoa aka. Pineapple Guava ($)

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