HOUSTON - It's expected to freeze overnight as we move from Sunday to Monday. Homeowners aren't taking any chances. Hardware stores across the Houston-Metro saw crowds of customers on Saturday.

When it comes to the shelves at C & D Hardware and Gifts in the Heights, shelves range from “kind of bare,” to “we are sold out,” said long-time employee, Alan Kellogg. “Freeze cloths, faucet covers and insulation for pipes, gone.” said Kellogg.

For homeowners who can't find the store-bought items needed to protect outdoor pipes, Kellogg recommends, “You can take a plastic trash bag, wrap it around the pipe, tape it with some duct tape, put an old towel or something you don't want to use that's new, wrap it with the towel, duct tape it, and that will work for good insulation also.”

Employees at National Tree and Shrub, off Yale Street in The Heights, spent Saturday wrangling as much at $50,000 worth of inventory that needs protection from freezing conditions.

“Thousands,” of plants explained manager Loren Ward. Everything from exotic trees to non-native plants were being protecting by awnings, cloth and water. “Absolutely. They need water,” said Ward. “That also acts as insulation.”

Ward reminds people to protect citrus trees and to bring in plants out on patios. Ward also recommends you cover the plant from bottom to top with a sheet or towel.

Make sure the cover is pinned down to the ground, so frost doesn't get to the plant; and try to raise the cloth above the leaves, possibly with stakes.

Ward says wrapping Christmas lights around the base of a plant before covering it with a cloth, and then, of course, turning on the lights, will add an extra degree or two of warmth.

“You do as much as you can,” said Ward.