Placing Plants in the Refrigerator: What You Should Know

Even though certain plants can withstand low temperatures, putting a plant inside a refrigerator can be more detrimental than beneficial.

Plants in the Refrigerator

When a plant is kept in a refrigerator, the temperature can fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity can reach 65%. Low light levels combined with these circumstances send the plant into an irreversible shock. The water in the plant and the soil will likewise freeze, killing the plant over time.

Although storing plants in the refrigerator may seem like a simple approach to keep them fresh for longer periods of time, there are a few things to take into account.

Everything you need to know about keeping plants in the refrigerator and what to watch out for if you decide to do so is covered in this article.

Can Plants Stay Alive longer in a Refrigerator?

Plants kept in refrigerators will eventually perish. This is because simply placing a plant in a refrigerator will abruptly introduce cold conditions without giving it time to acclimatize or adapt. In nature, plants go through physiological changes to prepare them for long, harsh winters.

The plant must first be potted because it must be small in order to fit inside a refrigerator.

The lower temperatures in a refrigerator slow down bacterial metabolism as well as the ripening processes that release sugars and hasten deterioration in fruits and vegetables.

This is so because all the biochemical processes that take place within the cells of fruits and vegetables as well as the bacteria that would ruin them (causing them to decay and acquire unpleasant or hazardous properties) are found there.

Additionally, as cell temperature near the freezing point of water, each of these activities slows down noticeably.

Water makes up the majority of the volume in a plant cell; it typically makes up 80 to 90% of the plant’s overall weight. [Source]

Plants have cells as well; the main distinction is that they are alive. This means that the extremely low temperature will likewise slow down cell activity, eventually preventing the plant from surviving.

The plant will be subjected to various conditions within the refrigerator in addition to the debilitating temperatures, which we shall cover later.

How Much Coldness Can plants Tolerate?

freezing pointTemperatureResults for Plants
Lightly frozen39 to 32 degrees F.kills delicate plants.
medium freeze25 to 28 degrees Celsiusdamaging to the majority of plants.
harsh or severe freezeFahrenheit 25damages most plants severely.

Normal refrigerator temperatures can range from about 40 degrees Fahrenheit to substantially lower temperatures depending on where the plant is placed within the refrigerator.

The plant will typically survive above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but only for a while until other environmental variables including

  • Light
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

A plant could be exposed to temperatures cold enough to cause shock if it is positioned directly in the path of the vent that pushes cold air into the refrigerator compartment.

These low temperatures, which can resemble a moderate freeze, can range from 25 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

The water molecules in the leaves and stems will likely tend to freeze during this freeze. If this occurs, the plant will become limp and its odds of surviving when it finally thaws and you remove it from the refrigerator.

How Long Can a Plant Survive in a Fridge?

The severity of the environmental conditions that a plant is exposed to will determine how long it can survive inside a refrigerator.

A plant will often live in the refrigerator for two days before beginning to exhibit dehydration phototropism.

Light

Depending on how much light a plant is typically exposed to, it can survive without light for anywhere from 4 to 20 days.

The lifespan of low-light plants ranges from 12 to 20 days, but the lifespan of light-loving plants is only 4 to 10 days. Plants will suffer from chlorosis and die without light.

A plant will only be exposed to the door light, which turns on when the door is opened, and any other light that enters a refrigerator. There is absolutely no light when the door is closed.

The plant also enters a dormant state as a result of a lack of light. They know to halt growing and preserve energy until the growing conditions are normalized rather than exerting energy in an effort to grow.

For more information on how long plants can go without light, see our in-depth page.

Humidity

A measurement of humidity compares the amount of moisture in the air to the maximum amount that may exist at that temperature.

The amount of water vapor in the air is also measured by humidity, and 50% humidity at 35° F has a lot less moisture than 50% humidity at 70° F.

Refrigerators provide a cool, dry environment (32-40 degrees Fahrenheit and 65 percent relative humidity)

Based on the contents and how frequently the door is opened and closed, the relative humidity inside a refrigerator can change.

Despite these things, a fridge’s humidity level is typically too low for a plant to hold moisture for a long time.

Through the process of transpiration, which involves the transfer of water through a plant and its evaporation from aerial components like leaves, stems, and flowers, a plant tends to rapidly lose a significant amount of moisture when the relative humidity is relatively low.

The plant can experience shock and wilt as a result of this dehydration, with no hope of recovery.

Temperature

The FDA (Food and Drug Association) advises keeping a refrigerator’s inside at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

But this temperature can be modified to be controlled at considerably greater or lower temperatures than the advised 40°.

As previously mentioned, most plants can be destroyed by temperatures below 25° Fahrenheit, and the plant will not be able to survive for very long.

Amazon’s Geniani portable humidifier offers the perfect level of ambient humidity for strong plant development. Clicking here will take you there.

Keeping Roses in the Fridge

Since bacteria’s activity is slowed by the cold temperature, roses can be preserved for a long time in the refrigerator. Lower temperatures also cause the biological activity within the bloom to slow down, putting it into a dormant state.

Typically, freshly picked petals can stay fresh for up to 3 days, but if kept in the refrigerator, they can stay fresh for much longer. a week or longer

Keeping roses in the refrigerator:

  1. Put the rose or roses in a vase with water so that the stems are at least 3 inches submerged.
  2. Make sure the thermostat is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. fruit out of the refrigerator. (Ethylene gas is released by fruits, speeding up ripening)
  4. After a day, roses should be removed.

The Rose can be kept for a longer time, but you should keep a close check on it and take it out if its condition starts to decline.

Can you Put Plants in the Freezer?

Different plants freeze and perish at various temperatures, and they can change with the seasons to make sure they survive the bitterly cold winters.

Based on their hardiness, plants are rated.

Plant hardiness refers to a plant’s capacity to endure challenging growing conditions. As a result, a plant’s tolerance for cold, heat, drought, flooding, or wind is often seen as a measure of hardiness and depends on its habitat. [Source]

A plant will eventually die if it is kept in a refrigerator. Depending on the species and age, some plants will survive longer than others.

Typically, a freezer is kept at 0 degrees Celsius. When water reaches this freezing point, all water molecules will instantly freeze. Since 80 to 90 percent of plants’ weight is water, they will swiftly freeze to death long before other variables like lack of light and moisture become a problem.

Placing Plants on Top a Refrigerator

A plant can make a wonderful home for a plant. The height of the vines plants will allow the vines to dangle freely above the ground without touching it.

Succulents, air plants, aloe vera, and Chinese money plants are examples of smaller plants that can have enough room without hitting the ceiling and remain protected from canines and felines.

The top of a refrigerator is not the best place for larger plants since they might touch the ceiling, which could impede their growth.

Larger plants in huge pots can also be a safety hazard because they run the risk of falling over and damaging the ground, lower furniture, and people.

See where to store plants safely in your home.

The Takeaway

A plant will eventually die if it is kept in a refrigerator. Even if a plant is accustomed to cold conditions, low temperatures, low humidity, and little illumination drastically limit the likelihood that the plant will survive.

With a relative humidity of 65 percent and an average temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a refrigerator offers a cool, dry environment.

Any living plants will experience shock as a result of these conditions quickly after being put inside a refrigerator.

Following removal, the frozen sections will defrost and become floppy and limp, frequently resulting in the death of that plant part.

FAQ

What happens when you put a plant in front of a fan?

By exposing it to an inappropriate amount of wind, a fan can stress out a plant. Wind can be blown directly onto plants by air conditioners, fixed fans, and oscillating fans, causing “windburn” and under curling leaves. Relocating the plant or the fan is one way to prevent fan stress.

Is it OK to put plants on top of fridge?

They might dry out, dislike the heat, or not have enough light up there. Additionally, watering plants that are perched above the refrigerator is a pain. Because they are difficult to access and it is difficult to prevent splashing and spilling, you will probably end yourself taking the plant to the sink to water it.

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