Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Freeze Damage

It's hard to tell about freeze damage immediately after said freeze. Some plants look sad but will recover. Their leaves kind of curl against the cold, Azaleas for example. Their tight buds are safe against the cold. White Azaleas got the notion to throw open some buds last week. They always do that and they always look like used tissue after the freeze. They hold back buds for the spring so they will still have show.

Some plants even under shelter of pines and other trees are just decimated. Angel Wing Begonias are nothing but a stub, the leaves just melted. White Shrimp plants look as if they were scalded and the red Shrimps are not much better. My Bird of Paradise is the color of rust, as are gingers. The smart gingers like Curcumas went underground weeks ago. Shell gingers were tall and proud right on until last night.

Agapanthus leaves are a soggy mass. Evergreen Daylilies' foliage looks sad but they'll straighten up. Lantana is burned to a crisp. I didn't look at Loropetalum. There were blooms in places last week. They will return despite the setback.

Plants like Bath's Pink Dianthus and Candytuft look sprightly and green, not minding the cold. Spring bulbs' foliage is green and fine, not minding cold at all.

It's hard to tell about some shrubbery. Later in the spring we may find plants with the bark split and some plant will look fine until mid-summer. I expect the cycads will need lots of pruning of freeze burned leaves come spring. Boxwoods look kind of bronze where newer growth was bright green last week.

I don't make photos of sad plants. I will remember how they look and you don't want to see.


  1. I don't need photos. I have plenty of freeze-damaged sad plants in my own garden to look at, since I haven't yet cut anything back after the week of temps in the teens that we had in mid-December. I hope you have lots of survivors.

  2. Ouch! This cold has passed us by but I sympathize with your losses - I can still remember the damage frost can do.

  3. I hope they all spring back to life once spring dawns at your garden.
    One thing for sure - its truly heart breaking when a plant dies regardless which zone one gardener might be.

    I'm sorry for you and hope things get better by the turn of the season.

  4. You are bound to loose a few; such is the life of a gardener. Mother Nature sometimes shocks us all!

    But when spring comes and all is pruned and cut out, what returns is so beautiful that it makes it all worth while.

  5. A mild winter like last year tends to make us forget just how bad it can get. Many of my permanent plants will come back from the roots if the tops die. I have replacements for most, just in case.

    I read Martha Tate's blog this morning. She has new this year Camellias that were full of buds. I don't know how they will fare in Atlanta but I hope the tightest buds hold against the cold.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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