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Penny Carnathan

Penny’s a Nurture And Hold (NAH): Nah, I won’t pull that out yet, it’s still got a green shoot. She likes dragonflies, lady bugs and new stuff only after weeding, pruning and fertilizing.

Kim Franke-Folstad

Kim’s a Want It Now (WIN): Everything pretty, everything now. She will resort to full-spectrum insecticides in desperate situations, and believes it’s her duty and right to buy new plants every weekend.

Both advocate Plant Choice (SOMEthing besides crotons. Please!), lots of color and low maintenance. We don’t agree on everything, but we’re smart enough to learn from each other - and from you.

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Some plants eased through the freeze

Posted Jan 20, 2010 by Kim Franke-Folstad

Updated Jan 20, 2010 at 05:19 PM

It seems as though every day another plant in my yard starts looking bad instead of better, thanks to our recent frigid temps.

But because we keep running across people who are interested in the stuff that made it through the cold without too much damage, I thought I’d offer up my list of wintertime winners:

Powder puff plant (not shown) – I have a big one of these in a pot that has now weathered two winters without a bit of trouble. Never covered it (forgot last year, and knew I didn’t have to this year). I love it so much, I was telling strangers at a USF plant sale to buy it last year! And I bought another one myself. It, too, is in a pot, and did just fine.

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Bleeding heart vine – I have three of these. The red/pink combination (potted) had a little damage, but I trimmed that away (yes, already) and it looks good as new. The white/red one (planted in the ground) didn’t do nearly so well. Don’t know what the difference might be – both were in nice, protected spots, although the red/pink one gets more morning sun, so maybe it warmed up faster every day.

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Violas – They just don’t seem to mind the cold. We all had good luck with violas, right?

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Pink fringe flower – This one still had some flowers on it days after the freeze. I covered it, and it did much better than I expected.

Pandora vine (not shown) – My Pandora vine got covered if there were sheets left over when I was done with plants I was more worried about. It didn’t seem to mind. It doesn’t have a bit of damage.

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Lobelia – Another cold lover. I draped a pillow case over these at the last minute. The mandevilla vine in this pot looks so sad, but the lobelia are blooming and happy.

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Bottle brush tree – I thought this tree would be delicate, but I couldn’t figure out how to cover it. Still, not a single leaf turned brown. I’m definitely getting another. (Just don’t look at the poor rubber tree behind it.)

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Orange bulbine – I meant to get more of this one because it held up so well in the drought. Now I’m determined to plant it everywhere in the yard.

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Pinwheel jasmine – Both my pinwheel jasmine and the Confederate jasmine did great.

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Citrus trees – All of my citrus trees pulled through. The Meyer lemon looks the worst, but not too bad. The orange tree is untouched.

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Purple fan or fairy fanflower – This purplish-blue creeping beauty is in pots on my deck – planted along with yellow buttercup. The buttercup took a hit, but the purple fan is still green and blooming. Yay!

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Bromeliads – I only have three, but I didn’t cover them, and they look the same as always. Which isn’t great, mind you, but not bad compared to all the brown in the yard.

 

Reader Comments

Por (RickBrown) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Glad the Bulbine performed as advertised. Did anyone see how well the Sedum Florida Friendly Gold performed in the cold? I hear in takes it down to single digits.

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Por (kgardens) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Thanks Kim for giving us this list of survivors.  Bulbine and the sedum Rick Brown mentions are definitely going on my list of plants to put into my garden in the spring.  The top of my pandora vine is toast.  It is still green up to about 12” from the ground.  It had covered an arched trellis.  I’m sure it will grow and cover the trellis again but it looks pretty bare right now.  Kay

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Por (Chip) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I can understand what you are going through Kim. The same thing is happening here things that look OK when I first uncovered are now looking sad but a few that I thought were goners are showing signs of life so do not yank out yet, cut back but not rip anything out unless you wanted it gone to begin with. I lot of plants will come back even if you cut them all the way back. I think that most of everything is a judgment call do not let anyone make decisions for you,  The reason I am saying this is the next mouth we may or may not have more cold snaps so until March we are still under the gun and it might take till April or May before things start coming back. Not easy I know welcome to my world!..“Chip”

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Por (shirlgirl) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I came to the same decision as you last year when my bottle brush tree made it through the freeze out here in Wesley Chapel. I bought quite a few more after that and they all look great after this years freeze. I am going to look into your other noted freeze worthy plants to put in my garden thanks for the information.

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Por (Kim Franke-Folstad) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

The only things I’m pulling out right now are the plants that turned toasty two years in a row, and took all year to come back. That includes the dwarf ixoras around the pool.

Rick—Is bulbine available year-round, or is there a time when I should be looking for it at Home Depot? I definitely want to get more of that into my garden.

And can you tell me what your experience has been with angelonia? I absolutely love mine, but it turned pretty crispy. Will it bounce back?

Thanks!

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Ohhh—-new possibilities. Thank you Kim. I have had bottle brush and powder puff on my “want” list. Now they may make to the top if they are frost proof.

I’ve got one of those white/red bleeding heart vines. It sits against the house so only got hit with the branches that stuck out from the eaves. But it’s been hit before enough to get cut to the ground (last winter) and always comes back beautifully. I may look into that red/pink one though.

My Meyer lemon may be a goner. I had it professionally trimmed because of the damage from last year. I don’t know if it can keep taking the cold. I may have live with the fact that I will have to buy lemons instead of growing them.

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Por (Kim Franke-Folstad) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Oh, Susan, that is such a shame about your lemon tree. Remember last year when I didn’t know what to do with my crop? This year, I have become addicted to squeezing lemon into Coke Zero.

Just last night, I was thinking how lucky I am to be able to walk out and grab a fresh lemon whenever I want one. My lemon tree is close to the house, so I can even go grab one after dark!

Regarding bottlebrush trees: I bought mine at a USF plant sale last year. They were much sought-after. I got the last one from the vendor. (I think it was our favorite vendor, George Griepenburg.)

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Por (RickBrown) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Kim,
Bulbine is in some stores but not in great supply. It lost much of the flowers so we will stock plants throughout the spring at Depot as they bloom again. The Sedum Florida Friendly Gold is in the Home Depot now.

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Por (Janna) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Glad to see that everyone had SOME survivors. Thanks for the photos, Kim. (I’ll definitely be looking for the bulbine.)

My petunias, pansies, violas and geraniums fared well, but I’m afraid my crotons “croaked.” I will give it some time and hope that they come back.

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

That is exactly what I wanted Kim. Go out and grab a lemon for my morning tea. I love them. I will be watching like a hawk to see any new green on it and hope for a recovery. Poor thing.

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Por (Kim Franke-Folstad) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I’ll be curious to see how our crotons do.

There’s a house on my street that is beautifully landscaped, and they have several crotons, all planted together in a way that is very colorful and makes a big statement.

In the first days after the cold weather, their crotons still looked fine, and I wondered what magic they worked. But now, theirs look as bad as any I have.

I’m waiting it out. I’m going to see if they just shed everything and then come back.

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 21, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I think we all have our notepad out writing out the winter winners (say that one 10 times real fast). The list is getting longer while we wait for spring and a trip to Home Depot.

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Por (RickBrown) on January 22, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Kim,
Dig below the ground and see if your angelonia is green. If so it will come back very quickly.

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Por (shirlgirl) on January 22, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Susan, I have several small citrus trees that made it through the freeze thanks to a nursery guy out our way. He told me to string plenty of Christmas lights (the large bulb kind not twinkle lights)through the trees and I did. We also put the kind of light like you hang on your car to work on it,right by the trunk/root area and layed it there. We are in the Wesley Chapel area where it gets a little colder than Tampa and they still made it through. We had just a few burnt branches that were real far from any lights. Hope your tree pulls thru.

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 22, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Thanks shirlgirl. I appreciate the great advice. This is my second try at a Meyer lemon and while I am hoping for the best, maybe I better look for a more Central Florida friendly lemon tree. My weird Riverview microclimate doesn’t seem to support them.

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 22, 2010 (Suggest removal)

It’s holding it’s own so far, Penny. No freeze damage at all. I am waiting for spring to see if it fills out again.

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Por (Iluvpumpkins) on January 23, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I LOVE Bulbine planted lots up at the school. Last year I saw Dwarf Bottle Brush for anyone who likes them but does not have room for a full size one.


Who would have ever thought in Florida we would be taking about the plants that survived the cold?  Pumpkin

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Por (Janna) on January 23, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Rick, my Sedum Florida Friendly Gold weathered the cold - totally unscathed! I’ll be getting more of that…

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Por (Chip) on January 23, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I was lucky over all, I lost a few. But I may have got carried away in my covering. the big surprise for me was the cold weather tomatoes[ they were covered] all look like they are gone I cut all the dead off and waiting to see if something will come back from the root. My Strawberry’s are loving life right now and the brandy wines are loaded with tomatoes ripening now. today is harvest day for bunch of stuff I waited to give everything a chance to recover but I have waited long enough I hope…..“Chip”

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Por (Susan Gillespie) on January 23, 2010 (Suggest removal)

sedum florida friendly gold? Hmm maybe that is a better choice than the limey green sausedge I have there now. It didn’t like the drought or the cold—-but I so loved the color contrast of it. Thanks Janna.

My carolina jessamine is a nice green with a few flowers too. It can be unwieldy but sure is a keeper.

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