A badly damaged Monstrosa Cactus at The Arid Garden following an extensive cold spell in February, 2011. Note the vibrant Saguaro in the background. (Mary Kidnocker photo)
A badly damaged Monstrosa Cactus at The Arid Garden following an extensive cold spell in February, 2011. Note the vibrant Saguaro in the background. (Mary Kidnocker photo)

For three nights in a row in February 2011, temperatures that dropped below 20 degrees for 12-hour durations, accompanied by heavy wind gusts, tested the cold hardiness of plants in the area.

Arizona Master Gardener Mary Kidnocker recalls how plants in the area endured the elements in those three nights in 2011, describes ways to determine how cold hardy landscape plants are before you buy them and explains where to plant them to protect them from extreme cold weather.

Do you recall the hard freeze of February 2011, and how did your plants fare?