February 2018 FREEZE DAMAGE

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Here are a few tips on dealing with freeze damage:

Hibiscus, trim off all the frozen parts. That may mean cutting it almost to the ground. If it is an exotic grafted variety, and it froze to below the graft, you may decide to throw it away and buy a new one. When it comes back from the root it will not be exotic anymore. The farther back you have to cut, the longer it will be until it will bloom again, sometimes as late as November. If you can’t wait, replace it.
Plumeria, if it is mushy it is dead. Buy a new one.
Bananas, they almost always come back from the ground.
Citrus, cut off the dead parts and see what happens. if it is grafted and dies back to the graft, dig it up, it’s no longer going to produce usable fruit.
Tropicals, trim them back to live wood, just like the hibiscus. Many varieties will come back from the ground. It could be many many weeks.
Non-tropical plants can be hurt too.  Dwarf pittosporum, for example, will often have split trunks and limbs that cause summer die back.
Cactus, trim back and wait, sometimes they branch and come back, sometimes they die.
Palms, some varieties die, some suffer damage, some are not hurt. Pygmy date palms, gently tug the heart leaves ( the very center leaves) if they easily slip out, the palm will die even if the old leaves are still alive. Often even as late as the next summer the leaves that were most tender during the freeze show browning and die back.
Queen palms are usually too tall to check the heart leaves. Just wait and see.
Foxtail palms and other tender varieties, if they look dead, they probably are.
Call us if you have questions.
See you in the garden.