I’m starting to think that the aftermath of the February freeze will never end.
Wherever I go, people ask about their favorite plants, and if they need to replace them, or if they might work together to live for another day. I am.
The list continues to grow. I’ve brought some things I haven’t covered here before.
How did these plants carry?
Rosemary. Most didn’t work. If some of all the plants turn brown or dark gray, they should be marked up as lost. Rosemary plants are not very expensive. I don’t want to waste most of this year trying to grow damaged plants. Start with a lively new one.
Figure. All the trees I have passed by (which I have admired for years) are large chunks of large stems. There are no leaves. Just a bare stem. Celeste varieties are the strongest in winter, and some I’ve seen haven’t made an effort to re-grow. But if there’s a new shot from the base, it’s the same kind as before.
Crape myrtle. I haven’t deliberately mentioned these so far. They are just starting to leave and growing. I’ll go back and amplify it later, but for now, if I find new shoots coming out of the roots of the plant, I’ll leave it for a few weeks until I see how the top reacts to the cold. If you have old growth diebacks, you may need them as new trunks.
Vitex. Some call it “Texas lilac,” but it’s certainly an unexplained name. Also known as the “chest tree” (another strange monica), it is a large shrub that blooms in late spring and usually has a beautiful blue elongated head. Like crape myrtle, the leaves come out slowly. I think that it is all right. I see the leaves open every day. Please sit firmly.
Texas sage. I’m pretty nervous about these shrubs, which we also know as “Seniza”. Newly growing people appear to grow sporadically throughout the leaf canopy. Even this late date may need to be pruned to change shape. It may be a plant native to Texas, but it is not native to these parts. And now we understand why.
Southern wax myrtle. They were ignited by the cold. Most of the leaves of many plants turned brown due to low temperatures. I thought it might not come back, but now many people are seeing new growth. I have to confess that this is not one of my favorite plants as this does not seem to be happy with our alkaline soil, but you have a plant that worked well Then it should rebound.
Lemons, Citrus unshiu and other citrus fruits. If you had these out during a cold spell, they wouldn’t come back. It was just too cold. If you have one in your garage pot and the garage is submerged for a few hours below freezing, and its stems are still supple and green, the plant may have a chance.
Lantanus. It is too early to make this decision. The upright types are more resistant to winter, so they are most likely to come back, but usually they are the last perennials to pop out of the soil. Sit firmly and wait. Hopefully they will show up soon.
Elephant year. I know people have these beds that have been in place for years, but the strings may be broken. They are subtropical plants and the tubers tolerate the freezing of light, but what we had in February was much more extreme. Make a plan to buy more.
banana. Normally these will come back for us as we mulch their crowns, but this time I would be surprised if any of them do so. As with elephant ear tubers, if you want bananas around you this year you should probably plan to buy a new plant.
Lady Banksia has risen. Everything I see, and everything people report on my Facebook page from all over Texas, is completely dead. I’ve lived and gardened in Fort Worth Dallas for 50 years and this is the first time this has happened. And these are not plants infected with the rosette virus. They were killed in the cold.
Carolina Jasmine. It was strange that the vines native to Pineywoods in eastern Texas were frozen throughout northern Texas. How did it survive as a native plant across the forest for centuries? This is worth replanting. It won’t freeze again for a long time. It is a good plant that cannot be ignored.
Revisit plants from previous spotlights
Indian hawthorn. These will be lost. They can be removed and replaced with dwarf hollies, dwarf abelia or other compatible plants. None of the plants we grow are universally damaged from the Red River to the Gulf of Texas.
Tokiwamansaku (fringe flower). Some have succeeded, others have not. Either way, you should now be able to distinguish them. Look for their small new shoots and thin new shoots. If you do not see them, start pruning from the growing tip until you reach the living tissue. It may be necessary to change the shape of the plant to maintain some degree of homogeneity. You may have to replace some of them.
Tobera. These are lost and need to be replaced with equivalent hollies or other suitable plants. Pittosporums should not be planted in north-central Texas. It shouldn’t have been in the first place. But I must know that.