Sunday, February 21, 2021

plant report

It got up to 60˚ on Saturday and briefly 70˚ today! I've moved the big plants out of the house and the smaller ones I brought in for the week of extreme temperatures. Then I walked around the yard uncovering everything.

Of the things covered:

The yellow and pink angel trumpets froze to the ground as expected but hopefully covering them preserved the roots.

All the gardenia's leaves are brown but I reached in and tested a stem which is still green so while it has lost its leaves, it lives.

Everything above ground on the plumbagos is dead but I hope the roots are good. Remains to be seen. I've lost plumbagos before in winters not this cold though they weren't covered.

The hibiscus was already cut back and dormant but I hope it survived. Maybe. Isn't looking good right now.

The ground orchid foliage is brown but there is some green under the thick leaf mulch so I think some of those will return if not all.

The yesterday/today/tomorrow froze to the ground, remains to be seen if the roots are good. It's in a pot. I should have brought it in.

The three big azaleas covered with buds next to the house look good and even most the buds look viable.

The two small azaleas by the driveway are all brown and those buds are dead but I think the plants survive.

The porterweed's new growth at the ground froze and some of the roots but I think some of the roots are still green. If not, I have a replacement in a pot in the house.

The sweet peas look great, in fact I think they even grew some!

The pony tail palm looks good. It will probably lose some of its outer leaves but I reached in and squeezed a neck or two and they seem firm.

Of the things that were not covered:

The small flowering senna tree is completely brown. I have no idea if it survives.

I'm pretty sure the rosemary is dead.

The phillipine lilies, purple and white flowered versions, are black. Don't know how hardy they are. I have a little volunteer of the purple in a pot in the house.

The crinum lilies, amaryllis, spider lilies, nile lilies, society garlic, elephant garlic, native alstroemeria, woodland pinks, bulbine (pretty sure it won't come back), and a lot of daylily foliage are all a puddle of mush on the ground. Only time will tell if the bulbs are still good. The daffodils are unfazed though and the two buds look like they'll open.

The azaleas around the pecan tree are all brown but I think have survived.

The camellia looks fine if a bit nipped.

The easter lilies are frozen so no flowers this year. I hope the bulbs are still good.

The rangoon creeper is completely brown/black. I think it will come back. I hope.

The poppies, love-in-a-mist, larkspur, ox-eye daisies, baby blue eyes look good which surprised me.

The roses are burned as are the leather leaf ferns and the purple coneflowers.

The boston ferns are brown and probably dead. We'll see.

All the ginger froze as expected but I'm confident the roots are good.

The night blooming jasmine froze to the ground but it will probably come back.

The indigofera also froze. It has survived that before but this was much colder and longer.

The firespike and shrimp plants are black to the ground and I hope they come back.

The bluebonnets are not happy but I think they'll recover and bloom.

And the banana trees are, of course, mush, but they should come back.

That's not everything but enough and I could have taken more pictures but one dead plant looks pretty much like another. Unsurprisingly, the dandelions and 10 petal anemones are going what arctic freeze?

Oh, and after the ice layer on the turtle pond melted I could see her down there and when I rapped on the side of the pond she wiggled her foot so she lives and today she was out on her sunning stone.

But there were two casualties...a titmouse and a robin found over by the shop. 

Both their heads are currently embedded in fire ant nests. Gruesome I know but I didn't have a skull of either in my collection.



  1. We are all so vulnerable. Some of us survive. Some of us don't. Astonishing to learn that your turtle survived.

  2. Thanks for the plant update. It sounds as if quite a few will survive but be slowed up. My azaleas have lived through extended severe cold and been fine, so I'm hoping yours will too. Rosemary's funny. I've had pots survive extended cold just fine and others just give up.never fathomed why the different reactions.

    I guess the turtle went into deepfreeze mode to survive. Like frogs.

  3. fire ants are good for something! They are probably pretty glad , too! Good to hear about Big Mama weathering the storm, What a sturdy gal!

  4. I've seen pictures of alligators in frozen ponds with their snouts sticking out to breathe. The ancient species will survive as they have always done. Big Mama being one of them.
    Are you going to trim back or just let nature take its course? Looks like overall, things are pretty good.

  5. It will be good to see which of these plants do survive. I like this documentation after the deep freeze. Sad about those two birds.

  6. An interesting rundown of what survived, thrived, and (maybe) died. Dandelions & roaches will be the last remaining creatures on earth :)

  7. I am amazed you know the name of all of the plants in your garden. I have no idea what most of the growing things in my yard are! Hope yours recover!

  8. Sad about the birds. I imagine scores of them didn't survive. It sounds like your plants fared better than you feared they might. Of course it takes a while to really tell, but it sounds like a lot of them have a good chance of coming up again. So glad you still have some azalea flowers on the way!

  9. I am quite sure that a lot will come back. We have Boston ferns that have survived several freezes, even the rosemary may come back, if it's in the ground.

  10. The coldest I've ever seen it get here in the Willamette Valley was -6. Because the weather here is usually no colder than Dallas, that was exceptionally cold. Yet...rosemary and ginger is common here, yet they survived. Roses are also common, and they too survived. So, for whatever it's worth, that's my experience, with these plants, at least.

  11. Texas fills our news broadcasts. I hope all your pipes unfroze, and you have drinking water. I worry a bit about my outside plants now that we are down in the 40s. I'm so sorry about your garden. What sort of thing can you grow that will survive a freeze?

  12. I guess the carnage could have been worse. It's so sad when the plants turn to mush.

  13. A whole lot of that will come back and look decent by June or July. A second spring, you could have done without.

  14. I am awed by the number of plants and the fact that you remember the names of all of them. But then, I can probably recite the names of 99% of the plants on our garden railroad. You pick them out, you plant them and they're like children -- you always know their names!


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