With all the cold temperatures, snow, and ice many people are wondering if their plants are going to survive. The truth is some will and others won’t. The plants that will have the most damage are going to be your palms and other tropical type plants. Other plants will suffer from broken limbs and branches due to the heavy weight of the ice buildup. A lot of annual color that is covered in snow and ice will be damaged beyond repair as well. Just because you see a foliage turning brown though doesn’t mean the plant is dead. Oftentimes the plant will stop sending food and energy to the foliage in an effort to save the main body. A lot of plants will need some major pruning this Spring when things warm up and the plants start growing again. It is important to remember though not to get out there and start cleaning anything or cutting branches just yet. We still have plenty of winter left and will more than likely see freezing temperatures again this year. When you cut off the dead limbs, it will promote new growth which is something we don’t want yet. The new tender growth will be more susceptible to freeze damage and could just harm the plant even more. It will also be important to feed your plants this spring, more so than ever before. The plants are exerting a ton of energy and using up their food sources right now to stay alive. Once this all passes, we will want to replace that so there is plenty of nitrogen for them this Spring.
So, to sum it all up:
Don’t trim your dead plants yet. Wait until the Spring when the temperatures are warmer and freezes like this are past us.
Don’t be alarmed when you have to do major cutbacks to several of your plants. They will need a total reset to come back stronger and healthier.
Do make sure you feed your plants a quality slow-release food source this Spring. Make sure it is early and don’t wait too long.