Author Topic: Plant frost die off?  (Read 4269 times)

Plant frost die off?
« on: 28 February, 2023, 05:50:38 pm »
Two large 1.5m tall hebe bushes dead after that period of cold in December.  Already trimmed just the top 1/3 off in hope, but on closer inspection main stem near ground level split n dead.

Anyone else had frost casualties?
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #1 on: 28 February, 2023, 06:02:57 pm »
yup, lots :(

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #2 on: 28 February, 2023, 06:29:32 pm »
At least two if not three in the unheated greenhouse.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Tomsk

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Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #3 on: 01 March, 2023, 02:43:26 pm »
Yes, some of our and clients' Hebes deaded, others look to have survived, if gone brown in places. Other casualties include marginlly frosthardy plants like Acacia Dealbata, Penstemons and Rainbow Yuccas. I don't think the stresses of last summer's drought followed by excessive rainfall can have helped. We'll have to see how Dahlias left in the ground for years have survived this time.

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #4 on: 01 March, 2023, 02:53:15 pm »
Here in the N. Pennines, hebes rarely last more than one or two winters, same with many so-called evergreen plants.
When the ground freezes they can't take up water. Then the wind blows and the leaves loose water faster than it is replenished so the leaves shrivel and die. When it is really cold, the stems just burst open.

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #5 on: 01 March, 2023, 05:32:59 pm »
The Hebes killed off were 'purple splendour' & quite a few years old, great for bees & butterflies.  Next to these is a 'katarina' (i think) - seems to have survived.  Have to think what to replace them with...
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #6 on: 04 March, 2023, 02:54:25 pm »
I had a look at my hebes today. The two I planted last summer have some green leaves but a lot of the plant is brown. The one which I think I planted the year before looks rather healthier.
I don't suppose next week's cold snap is going to help though.

We've also got 2 rosemary bushes which were growing out of control when we arrived here so I gave them both a good prune (which was a very pleasant aromatic experience). One of them is doing very well but the other seems to be dying off in places. I'll give it a couple of months to see if it recovers but it might be time to dig it up.
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Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #7 on: 04 March, 2023, 03:47:04 pm »
If you can protect the hebes and rosemary with some fleece or mesh through this next cold snap, you could try cutting them back hard in April/May. They may regrow from the base.
Both root easily (hebes very easily) from cuttings in the summer. So if they regrow or if you do replace them, get a few cuttings and overwinter them undercover to plant the next spring.

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #8 on: 04 March, 2023, 03:54:33 pm »
Oh, and the smaller leaved hebes like pagei (grey leaves) or Mrs Winder (purple-red leaves) are more resiliant than large leaved varieties.
In fact, purple-leaved varieties of a lot of things are tougher than the green ones eg Sage, fennel.

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #9 on: 04 March, 2023, 03:56:36 pm »
We also list a hebe, but it wasn’t a thing of beauty so it just got dug out. Our Daphne, which is pretty sheltered and only 1m from the front of the house lost all its leaves. It’s still got some life in it, we’ll just have to wait and see how much if/when it leafs up again. The rosemary 2m from it is romping away.  An evergreen winter flowering clematis was blasted so that got cut right down. An Ivy we put in in the summer also got blasted, so cut to the ground and under observation. Thing was it wasn’t that cold for where we are, si the amount of damage and loss is surprising.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #10 on: 04 March, 2023, 04:42:36 pm »
I have never seen so much damage to normally tough winter brassicas as this winter.
They kept growing and were still much too "soft" when the very cold temperatures hit in early December.
The leaf stems froze and burst open, leaving the leaves a soggy mess.
In a normal year the temperature falls more steadily and the plants harden up.
Will be different problems next winter....

Meanwhile, keep the fleece handy.

Re: Plant frost die off?
« Reply #11 on: 04 March, 2023, 04:55:28 pm »
Have some mesh - so will try that over.  Our Daphne (close to hebes) seems fine with leaves & flowering atm; spirea magic carpet - buds all over.

These were Hebes that died off.  Just 30cm stems now, will see if anything grows from base.

Hebe Splendour by a oxon, on Flickr


This one, still has a few green leaves knocking about - but doesn't look great.

Katarina by a oxon, on Flickr

Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson