Saturday, January 27, 2018

Freeze Damaged Plants Tips For Recovery

The hard freezes lately have damaged tropicals. Despite the freezing temps we experienced this year it was not enough to damage hardier plants, such as azaleas and gardenias just to name a few. Many tropical plants will recover, especially if given protection. While the damage is extensive, if we don't get anything worse, our landscapes should recover.

Do not prune anything for several days after a freeze. It often takes several days for all of the damage to be evident. You may even find some plants that look damaged immediately after a freeze actually aren't.

Damaged growth on non -woody plants, such as cannas, birds-of-paradise, begonias, impatiens, gingers, may be pruned back to living tissue. This is optional, and is done more to neaten things up.  However, if damaged tissue is oozy, mushy, slimy, and foul smelling, it should be removed.

Remove the damaged foliage from banana trees but do not cut back trunk unless you can tell for sure that it has been killed. It will look brown, feel mushy, feel loose in the soil.

Dead leaves on woody tropical plants, such as hibiscus, tibouchina, angel trumpet, croton, ixora, copper plant, and rubber plant, can be picked off to make things look neater. If you can clearly determine what branches are dead on a woody plant, you can prune them back. Try scratching the bark with your thumbnail. If tissue underneath is green, its still alive. If the tissue is brown or tan, the branch is dead. Start at the top and work your way down to see how far back the plant was killed. Generally, its a good idea to delay hard pruning of woody plants as long as possible.

Continue to protect what you can when needed. Don't be too quick to dig up any plants, let nature run its course and you'll be surprised!

Any further questions please feel free to give me a call.

Clean Cut Landscape