* Exposure: Plants on the north or northwest side of a structure will be the most exposed to the cold.Plants located on a south or southeast exposure may receive some protection from severe cold.* Snow and ice coverage of lawns, soil and plants does have an insulating effect if it happens BEFORE the freeze.Consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the most accurate information on low temperature tolerance.Central Texas has highly variable winter temperatures, which makes it difficult for many species to enter dormancy.Plants that have begun to “emerge” in early spring with new growth will be more susceptible to cold damage.Be sure to make the cut in the appropriate place to avoid insect and disease entry into the tree.).These include succulents, Agaves, tropical plants and herbaceous perennials.Perennials such as Society Garlic may be clipped off at the soil line, as they may come back from the roots.Shedding leaves can indicate living stem tissue, and depending on species, may offer a ray of hope.However, bowing can cause internal cracks or vascular system damage and limbs may not return to their normal position.We unfortunately cannot see the damage inside the limb, and would recommend consulting a Certified Arborist to assess the options.If potatoes had started to sprout and leaves turned black, trim them off just below ground and wait for more to appear.Any veggie plants that have turned to mush should be clipped off at the soil line and composted.Do not apply pre-emergent, post-emergent herbicide or fertilizer until the lawn has shown that it is “coming back” well.The ice/snow cover was beneficial as it captured ground heat and acted as an insulator.It is possible that the crown of the grass survived and may make a decent recovery.Canna lilies: These are Zone 7-8 plants, so they may come back from the roots, especially if they were already dormant when the freeze hit.Elephant Ear: Colocasia esculenta varieties are mostly Zone 8, and all the ones that I have seen have mushy bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes.Like the Pride of Barbados, it will be late to come back if it is going to, so patience is key.Holly Fern: If these Zone 6 plants were watered and well-mulched, there is a good chance that they will return.It does not regrow well if cut back hard, so wait to see if it puts out new growth before making any decisions.Mexican Bush Sage, Mystic Spires Salvia: Both are Zone 7, so chances are better for them to come back, especially if mulched and watered before freeze.Mealy Blue Sage: Although a tough perennial, these are Zone 8, so again, wait and watch.Mint Marigold: I have also lost this Zone 8 perennial in less cold winters.Mexican Firebush: Although this is Zone 8b, it rarely comes through a cold winter here.Orange Zest Cestrum: I am worried about mine coming back this year.Replacement plants won’t be available until late spring anyway, so no need be in a rush.Salvia greggii: Many will probably come back from the roots, as they are a Zone 6 plant.Society Garlic: This Zone 7 plant has gone to mush and should be clipped off at the ground.Flax Lily: Zone 8a, but I’ve lost these to less cold winters.They are worth replacing, as they are deer resistant and tolerate shade, which is rare.Even our native Sabal minor has some damage, but looks a bit better if it is planted understory.We are waiting to see how our suppliers “wintered” this storm, as it is likely to affect palm availability in the near future.Roses are generally considered cold hardy in Central Texas.However, since Central Texas has had a relatively warm winter this year, many were not “hardened off” and some even showed new growth and blooms before the freeze.Again, protected location, maturity of the plant and mulch and water application before the freeze all contribute to survival.Common Tree Senna : These probably will not come back, but it depends on exposure.Dwarf Yaupon Holly: These Zone 7 shrubs may turn brown and lose their leaves, but I would expect most to leaf out this spring.Natchez, Tuscarora and Muskogee Crape Myrtles : These were damaged or killed in the ’83-’84 freeze.Wait until new growth shows, cut them back to living tissue or to the ground and be patient .Freeze-damaged trees can take some time to come back, but Crape Myrtles can be quite resilient.Other varieties are generally more winter hardy, and will require monitoring and pruning of dead twigs/branches when they leaf out.Desert Willow: These trees are prone to breakage from heavy ice or snow.I have seen them rally after being pruned heavily from ice damage, so don’t give up too soon.Encore Azalea: Hardy to Zone 7, so I am hoping that these will just defoliate and come back.If they were not putting on new growth or newly planted, and were in a protected location, they will probably be fine.Indian Hawthorn: Generally cold hardy to Zone 8, these have taken a hit this year.Italian Cypress: Many of these now have brown foliage, but we are hopeful that when they flush out they will recover.They are not root-hardy, however, and do not come back from the roots or flush from a hard prune into woody growth.Latent buds may grow and fill in, so wait until mid-Spring after you see new growth to lightly prune.They do not come back from the roots, so if yours is dead to the ground and does not scratch green anywhere on the trunk, you can go ahead and remove it.Loropetalum: Although these evergreen shrubs are hardy to Zone 7, if they were newly planted or in active growth when this freeze hit, they are more vulnerable.Wait for new growth from the ground to appear to make the decision whether to remove or cut them back.Pineapple Guava: These Zone 8 subtropical plants really suffer when the temperatures go below 15°F.You can cut them back severely if showing green stems, but wait for new growth to arrive.Remove broken branches now but wait to prune back hard until danger of freeze is past in March.The understory trees seem to have fared better, but boy do mine have a lot of broken branches!Texas Sage: There are many different species of Leucophyllum, and most are cold tolerant to Zone 8.If the bark splits, it is not a good sign, but I have seen them come back from stumps before, so be patient.Feel the base of that unfurled leaf, and if it is soft, go ahead and remove the plant.You will do better to remove these earlier than later, as bacteria and fungi proliferate on the dead tissue and makes for a smelly mess.In general, I think the Hesperaloes, or Red Yuccas, will be fine, although I have seen leaf damage.Some species may send up “pups”, so you might cut the plant to the ground and wait.Most plants will have brown leaves but can be mowed to 4”-6” and they should send out new growth in the spring.They are rated for Zone 8, and the roots may survive if planted in a protected location.Yes, it is fairly safe to grow Arctic Frost and Orange Frost Satsuma in the ground most years, as they are not a grafted variety and will come back “true” from their root stock if they freeze back.You can scratch the bark at the ground level to see if it “slips”-if so, it is probably not coming back.Apple, Peach, Pear, Plum, Nectarine, Apricot and Oriental Persimmon are hardy to Zones 4-5 if well-established.As mentioned before, it will depend on location, age, general health, moisture level in soil, whether they were exposed to prior cold temps and stage of growth of the trees.The biggest issue with young fruit trees will probably be “frost cracks” in the trunk.This is caused by wildly fluctuating temperatures and occurs on many thin barked species.Many trees have adapted with narrower xylem tissue that is also more resistant to freeze.Grown in Zone 3 with no issues, and the sturdy branching and strong wood make it less susceptible to breaking in ice storms.We are hoping the leaves will shed and trees will leaf out in March as usual.Shumard Red Oak and Texas Red Oak: I am not too worried about these, other than the sudden drop in temperature from a warm winter, then a quick warmup which could influence frost cracks.Canby Oak: Although hardy to Zone 5, they did not have a chance to acclimate like their northern counterparts, and were still holding leaves when the freeze hit, so there may be some damage.Young trees have thin bark so watch for frost cracks.Chinquapin Oak: Also hardy to Zone 5, and since they are fully deciduous, I would expect these to come through pretty well.Cedar Elm: Although these trees are prone to breakage due to narrow branching angles, they are very winter hardy here.(Zone 6) Prune broken branches at the appropriate place on the trunk to avoid future disease issues.Chinese Pistache: Hardy to Zone 6a and fully deciduous, we are expecting these to do pretty well, with some pruning likely needed after they leaf out.Please don’t hesitate to contact the nursery with additional questions, but please realize we may not have the answers! .

Assessing the Freeze Damage

So, while it may be drought-tolerant, it does have a weakness, that being its inability to take really cold North Texas weather.Apply an all-nitrogen fertilizer to speed things along, then water them deeply.• Primrose jasmine is a large, arching shrub noted for its golfball-sized, rose-like, soft yellow flowers.However, just as we saw six or seven years ago following a hard freeze in early December, several varieties seem to have frozen back to the ground in North Texas.The good news is, they were all started from cuttings, so when they send up new sprouts, you’ll have the same variety.• Oleanders also have frozen back to the ground across big swaths of Texas.We’ve used it almost as a shrub in recent years, and the time was going to come.Don’t be surprised if you live in the northern half of the state and you have a loquat that died.If yours turned brown, it won’t come back, and you need to find another type of tree to replace it.• Pittosporums are South Texas shrubs, particularly variegated and dwarf types. .

Do Sage Bushes Freeze?

If cold weather in the fall or winter visibly damages or kills the top region, the plant should be cut back to soil level. .

Dealing with Freeze Damage on Plants – March 1, 2021 UPDATE

Evergreen Woody Shrubs (abelia, Asian jasmine, azaleas, banana shrub, camellias, eleagnus, fatsia, fig ivy, gardenias, Indian hawthorn, Japanese blueberry, ligustrum, loquat, loropetalum, oleander, pittosporum, privet, sasanquas, sweet olive, Texas sage, viburnum, wax myrtle, etc.): Wait until they start to resprout from the existing stems or the ground, then cut away dead and leave what is alive and growing.Many of these plants are from milder parts of southeastern Asia and simply aren’t used to zero degrees.Hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, polyanthas, and modern shrub roses like Knockouts and Drifts are considered more cold hardy while uniquely Southern roses like Teas, Chinas, Noisettes, Banksias, etc.Once you see the stems split open and the plants resprout, cut them back to that point, even if it’s at the ground.Don’t do anything until they start to sprout then cut back to where new growth is occurring, even it’s at the ground.Fruit trees: Most are cold hardy except avocado, citrus, pomegranates, olives, and figs which will have varying degrees of damage and death.Open flowers and fat buds on blueberries, peaches, and pears froze, but the trees should be alive and sprout as normal.There however many be varying degrees of damage including death like there was in Dallas during the 1980s when all the bark eventually popped off, but once again nothing you can do right now but take a cold tater and wait.Most conifers including pines and cedars will be fine although they may be damaged and broken from snow and ice.Groundcovers: Some such as aspidistra, English ivy, ferns, and liriope may have foliage damage only.Cut off, shear, or mow the dead leaves, scatter a sprinkling of lawn fertilizer and most will grow back after the nights get warm and the days longer.St. Augustine and Centipede lawns: There will possibly be dead areas and freeze damage.Do not fertilize until nights are warmer in mid-April and do not water until June, July, and August, once per week, one inch per application.Watering in the spring contributes to gray leaf spot and brown patch.I wouldn’t be surprised if many heirlooms produced more foliage and bloomed almost normal next year.Vegetables: Most were frozen and will need to be replanted including onions, potatoes and cool season greens.There’s still time to get in a late crop of cool season plans like lettuce, greens, cabbage, broccoli, etc.Native Plants and Wildflowers: Most are perfectly fine as they evolved to deal with periodic Arctic blasts and blue northers.House plants (aloe vera, Christmas cactus, croton, diffenbachia, peace lily, philodendron, ponytail palm, sanseveria, etc.Tropicals (allamanda, asparagus fern, bananas, bleeding heart, Boston fern, bottlebrush, bougainvillea, brugmansia, elephant ears, esperanza, mandevillea, Mexican heather, plumbago, pride of barbados, purple fountain grass, tropical hibiscus, etc.Invasives: Chinese tallow and Chinese privet will suffer freeze damage like many other southeastern Asian plants have with both foliage and stem die back but other than seedlings will mostly likely resprout from their stems and certainly roots.This explains why National Arboretum crapemyrtles never froze in Washington D.C.

and more northern climates but have frozen numerous times in Texas over the years.Some damage doesn’t show up for months and some plants that appear dead come back to life from the root system.Some plants with green stems like roses will show what’s dead even quicker and can be cut back sooner. .

Texas sage can be trimmed back in late winter

A: Yes, you can prune Texas sage or cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) severely, removing a half or more of the plant, but keep in mind the stems will look naked until new growth begins.For a more natural shape, snip branches individually at varying heights.You also can prune tips during the growing season to encourage bushy growth.But I can't guarantee it will produce a healthy plant; it's better to request new bulbs from the company.Q: Something dug into our ripened lemons leaving deep holes in the fruit.Nokes suggests collecting the seed through the fall when they are dry and no longer green.Air dry the seed a few days, then place in bags or containers and store in the refrigerator.Press the seed lightly into the soil and barely cover with a sprinkling of fine sand.Germination occurs in one or two weeks when daily temperatures average 68-86 degrees.A: Those who can't bring themselves to toss a potted poinsettia into the compost after the holidays can continue growing it in a container or plant it outdoors in the garden.Continue to water the potted poinsettia thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch.If you display them outdoors, bring plants inside on cold nights.When the weather warms in spring, place the poinsettia outdoors in indirect light.In September, move the plant inside where it will receive at least six hours of direct light.Our neighbor has successfully grown a poinsettia on the south side of the house for years.When the top is damaged in hard freezes, the plant regrows from the roots. .

How To Prepare Your Plants For Cold Weather

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist for horticulture, Lisa Whittlesey, explains how you can prep your plants for the coming freezing temperatures.Used with covers, this watering technique can help make a difference.For light frost that doesn’t last for too long, if possible, move potted plants close to the house and preferably on a southern exposure.“If a heavier freeze is expected and watering, lights and covering isn’t enough, moving plants to a southern/western exposure and applying a very heavy layer of mulch or straw in the container can be helpful,” she said.“Keep well watered and just try to maintain the plant during the colder winter months.”.“Some popular house plants can be toxic to children and pets,” she said.“Placing plants up higher on a cabinet or a shelf can make them less accessible.”.Knowing something about the plants you have and whether or not they could be toxic to children or pets can be helpful, particularly as you bring them into close quarters with your family and furry friends. .

How to Care for Plants Damaged by the Texas Freeze—and Prep for

After the winter storm brought record low temperatures and encased plants in ice for days on end, she says, “some of the evergreen plants that I’ve never seen turn brown have turned brown.” In the Gardens at Texas A&M University, the scene is equally bleak: “Our creeping fig, butterfly vine, yellow bells, and blue plumbago have all died back to the ground,” says director Michael Arnold, a professor of landscape horticulture.All the botanists who spoke with Texas Monthly agreed that it’s too soon to tell the extent of the storm’s toll on our local flora—and in most cases, it’s too early to act as well.“That sounds a bit harsh, but many plants in our landscapes have sustained considerable damage, and many may resprout if we are patient.” So now is not the time to start throwing out unsightly foliage, for the most part.Below, the garden gurus break down the difference between repairable damage and rotting decay, explain what to do now, and help us prepare for future bouts of inclement weather—and the welcome relief of spring.“Lightly scratching twigs or making a small cut on the lower branches on shrubs can reveal if the stem is still alive.” If you see green, great.She says many agave and prickly pear cacti, for example, “are piles of mush, but I think that there’s a very good chance that they’ll just grow back from the bases.“Damaged cole crops—cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts—contain high amounts of sulfur-containing compounds and tend to stink as they decay,” he notes.“We removed ours and prepared those areas for spring vegetable crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and musk melons, which will be planted within the next few weeks.”.“I’ve seen several trees just completely split in half, and a lot of that is due to poor pruning,” Ambrosino says, referring to the bad practice of removing too many limbs and not ensuring an equal distribution of branches.For almost any type of tree damage, she recommends that Texans “sit back and wait, and have a certified arborist do a health prune in mid-June to February.” (You can find one near you through the International Society of Arboriculture’s online directory.).“While I refuse to give up the fun of growing something new, marginal, or risky in the landscape,” Arnold says, “one lingering impact of this recent freeze will be keeping an eye to more cold-hardy cultivars and species for the backbone locations in our garden.”.Speaking of counterintuitive, she explains what to do if temperatures dip below 32 degrees again this month: “If we haven’t had rain and your plants are dry, go ahead and water. .

Freeze Protection Tips For Your Plants

Bottle Brush Bush 28 to 23 degrees or below.Butterfly Vine * 28 to 23 degrees or below.Camphor Tree * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Chinese Fan Palm 23 to 15 degrees or below.Chinese Paper Plant * 28 to 23 degrees or below.Confederate Jasmine * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Copper Leaf 32 to 28 degrees or below.Crybaby Tree * 28 to 23 degrees or below.Fig Vine * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Golden Rain Tree * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Mediterranean Fan Palm * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Norfolk Island Pine 32 to 28 degrees or below.Orchid Tree * 28 to 23 degrees or below.Passion Vine * 28 to 23 degrees or below.Primrose Jasmine * 23 to 15 degrees or below.Wax Leaf Begonia 32 to 28 degrees or below. .

Mexican Bush Sage

This drought-hardy perennial has soft green foliage with a slight silvery tint.In fall, it produces beautiful cascades of velvety purple flowers that attract butterflies and other beneficial wildlife. .


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