Even though certain plants can withstand low temperatures, putting a plant inside a refrigerator can be more detrimental than beneficial.
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.
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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?
|Results for Plants
|39 to 32 degrees F.
|kills delicate plants.
|25 to 28 degrees Celsius
|damaging to the majority of plants.
|harsh or severe freeze
|damages 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
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.
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.
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.
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.