Some plants rebound quickly after shock

Courtesy Jonquils after freeze

Ice storm or not, these plucky little jonquils are determined to remain upright.

Last week, wrapped in ice, these little beauties were prostrate on the ground, but just look at them now! Another reason to have some of these bulbs in your yard. Nothing gets them down (for long, anyway).

We were at the IDEA Garden this week, taking stock of the damage and attempting to tidy up after the terrible storm last week. The garden looks worse than it has ever looked, but rightly so. We have never had an ice storm this late in the year.

We cut back dead leaves and foliage, but left many plants alone until we see exactly how much damage is done. Don't be too hasty in cutting back shrubs or trees yet. It is hard to tell if the plant is truly dead or just knocked back. Even our kale, cabbage and pansies look bad. The pansies, pinks, snaps, and violas will be fine, and by next week will be recovered and going strong, but our kale and cabbage —- just mush. Who would have thought?

We are wondering how many of our tropical plants were lost. We have had some in the ground for years. They are not supposed to be winter-hardy here, so we may have to replant some, if not all.

These include Esperanza (yellow bells), plumbago, cuphea, firespike and others.

Our fatsias were pretty torched. They will drop all their leaves, but most likely will be fine. We just will not be sure of how much damage is done for a while.

Folks, please do not despair. Plants are tough and even the tropicals that have been in the ground for a few years should pull through. Time will tell, and until then, just keep an eye out for any sign of life and then wait until the weather warms in a couple of weeks before you rip those plants out.


Dee Bishop is a Smith County Master Gardener. She writes about plants growing within the Tyler Rose Garden.



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