Winter 2014 – Recovery and Prognosis

With multiple bouts of sub-10 degree cold, the winter of 2014 will teach us all some lessons about how hardy our plants REALLY are.

I’m wondering how my St. Augustine lawn will fare. How about my daphne and Carolina jessamine and Confederate jasmine?

So far, I’m really impressed with how well my fatsia and pittosporum have weathered the cold.

Assuming the extreme cold has departed for good, what can we expect?

I’ll be looking for random branch die-back on azalea and rhododendron in early summer. If their limbs became cold enough to crack the bark, the wounds will open back up in April and allow fungi inside. The branch die-back will be seen in May-June.

On the other hand, my hydrangea branches reveal pretty green tissue beneath the bark and the buds seem tight and healthy.  I foresee no problems there.

My bottom line advice? Do no pruning until mid-April. We may be surprised what emerges then!

split bark on azalea

split bark on azalea

green tissue, healthy bud on hydrangea

green tissue, healthy bud on hydrangea

camellia freeze damage 1

tight camellia buds may exhibit no damage

freeze damage to flower

but this is what freeze damage to a camellia flower looks like

IMG_1788

gone gone GONE!

keeping my fingers crossed that my daphne will re-leaf

keeping my fingers crossed that my daphne will re-leaf

Carolina jessamine freeze damage

I’m surprised my Carolina jessamine was damaged so much. We’ll see what happens in spring.

sago palm freeze damage

call the undertaker (or compost pile)!