Now onto the two types of dormancy. First up is endo-dormancy. Shortening days and colder temperatures will cue the plant that its time to enter this phase or type of dormancy. As the plant enters this phase it will count chilling units. Chilling units are hours of time the plant spends above freezing. I know, sounds backwards right? The hours of chilling units will vary depending on the species of the plant, it can range from less than 500-1500 hrs. Warm weather will not "wake" the plant up until it has counted the appropriate number of chilling hours. Also, not all hours above chilling are equal either, between 40-50°F are ideal. If it goes above 60°F, that can actually have an negative effect on chilling hours. During this phase plants also become cold hardy, this hardiness will vary from species to species. As long as the plant is dormant and the temps stay below freezing the plant should be able to adapt.
Once the plant counts the appropriate chilling hours, it enters the second phase or type of dormancy eco-dormancy. This is where the plant gets ready to start growing, but environmentally something isn't right. Still to cold, not long enough daylight hours. Once everything is good and it's growing again it loses the ability to be cold hardy.
So will freezes kill your plant? No, not as long as the plant isn't freezing and thawing repeatedly. It will handle being frozen just fine if it is dormant and stays frozen. Would I recommend leaving your plant frozen for months on end? No, but I can safely say they can be frozen for a couple weeks with no ill affects.
Hopefully this helps clear up any issues you may have about what dormancy is.
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