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Cold weather damage

by Janet B. Carson January 2, 2023 at 4:22 p.m.

The horribly cold winter weather we got in December has done a number on many of our landscape plants.  There are very few winter annuals that survived.

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Santa was knocked for a loop too!  I see some green underneath some of my pansies

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but it will be months before they recover, if they even do.  Flowering kale and cabbage, purple mustard and Swiss chard

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are all history.  Even my garlic plants that were thriving are totally brown.

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I will keep my fingers crossed that they come back, but I will not hold my breath.  I covered some bok choy plants,

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and a few may try to start growing again, but the uncovered plants are all gone—along with my kale. 

All of the above are annual plants, so not a great loss, but there are other shrubs that I am truly sad about.  My large rosemary bush was almost 20 years old and I think it is gone.

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 Depending on the variety some gardenias were hit hard,

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while others have hardly any damage.  Loropetalum took another hit, and my new evergreen viburnum is ever-brown.  There is some tip-burn to azaleas and nandinas, and my normally evergreen abelia are now deciduous.  Tea olive plants, Banana shrubs (mitchellia) and other marginal plants look bad too. 

While I know it is hard to look at, try to avoid seeing them, because it is too soon to do anything about it.  Winter is just getting started and the damaged foliage will actually be a buffer and some protection should we get more cold weather.  The jury is out as to how extensive the damage is.  All we can do it keep our fingers crossed that we won’t get any more bad weather and that it looks worse than it is, but I predict I will be making even more trips to the nursery this spring to replant.

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