How much damage?

madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)February 2, 2014

Do you know yet how much damage January did to your landscape? In my case, my agaves have fared the worst. I have them in containers and brought them inside for the coldest periods but the cold rains have really damaged them - it will take years to get rid of the damage. In the case of Agave montana, the damage was apparently fatal. All the species I had outdoors are hardy down to zero but the dampness did the damage.

Elsewhere, I noticed Loropetalums around Gadsden are showing lots of leaf damage but probably are going to survive. A lot of plants normally evergreen or mostly so, such as Knockout roses, now have leaves that look burnt. Same for the cross vine I have on my back fence - not dead, just walloped by the cold.

Usually February is my least favorite month but it has to be better than the month just past!! At least I see healthy buds on a number of my shrubs and the daffodils are starting to get some healthy growth.

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Too soon to tell anything for sure, I think.

I have a couple of things I think are goners because they were either out of zone or borderline, like my artichokes and my Melianthus major. The bay tree looks very rough but I did have it covered. The fig may die back to the ground; the buds look dead. One of my tea camellias looks bad but the others look okay; they were also covered.

My wheat crop is dead -- what was left of it after the wild rabbits enjoyed the fresh winter greens. Garlic looks a little rough but it will pull through.

My rosemary shrubs, both kinds, look dreadful. May be dead; at least they are easily replaced and fast growing. The various ornamental sages look awful but I think they will return fine.

I'd love some agaves but I think my property is too wet for them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 8:17AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

KO roses are ubiquitous (and definitely deciduous) much farther north, I wouldn't be worried about those.

I have a potted Agave and made sure it was dry when the frosts started in Nov, putting it under the porch roof but no other protection. It got its' first drink yesterday, after about 2 months. It's been a wicked-bad winter for exposed potted plants out there especially, if your pattern has been what we keep getting down here - drenching downpours right before plunges below freezing. I doubt any potted sweet potatoes will still be alive, but that wouldn't bother me. I wasn't going to use much SPV in pots this summer anyway, time for a change.

It's not unusual for Cycads to lose their foliage around here some years, but I am concerned about the 2 little ones I have, PIG in Nov. They're completely yellowed compared to others I see with some green right at the crown still. Maybe the bigger ones just take longer to turn yellow after severe cold. No experience with these at all, just know that I see a lot of them around this area.

The questionably hardy stuff in my yard is dormant anyway, no way to know until May...

Nicole, how big is your fig?

Sure didn't bother the mosquitoes. DH & I each got bites Saturday.

Mom's Dracaena fragrans that grew through the pot bottom down into the hole I'd dug for the pot to sit in (so it wouldn't keep blowing over) looks awful, but not completely dead. At first she was covering it with a tarp but got sick if doing that by the time we had the 2nd bout with temps in the teens. Maybe age helps. It's been digging into that spot since late '12.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:39AM
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My fig has only been in the ground one season; it's about 3' high. It's a Celeste, which is supposedly hardy to 0F, but the wind chill may have damaged it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:17PM
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I checked some of the shrubs that showed severe leaf burn and scratched the bark. Most still showed the green cambium cell layers. Not faring well are two large Pineapple Guavas, Feijoa Acca sellowiana. All above ground growth seems to be dead. The tall stalks of the Banana, Musa basjoo are also dead. Just have to wait until warmer weather to see if the root stock survived.
On the bright side, some of the Helleborus are blooming.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sending good vibes to your fig, Nicole! Are they as common up where you are as they are down here? Now that you mention it, a little confederate rose I planted in November might be questionable? It's a little twig about 2 ft tall, though I know the above-ground parts can't survive winter. Hope the roots are alive under there. I have no idea how hardy either of these are supposed to be, especially baby plants facing unusual/unexpected conditions. (Nobody WAS expecting this, right?)

I'm curious about your bananas too, Terra. More good vibes to those!

Hope everyone will come back with updates when results are known, though the weather isn't over. Here it comes again, rain followed by a plunge, but only to 34 here tomorrow night. Then a brief return to normal, followed by more rain, followed by another plunge to 32. The excessive moisture this winter concerns me as much as the low temps. If the ice took 3 days to melt, the ground was probably pretty cold while soggy wet. Hmm... the bright side? It's something to talk about I guess.

Anybody who owns a garden center anywhere in the east half of the country should be looking forward to a banner year!

Peace â® âÂÂ

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:15AM
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Figs are not terribly common, but not uncommon either. For a while I lived in an apartment in Huntsville that had a fig tree two stories tall. Good figs, too.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:34AM
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Ack! My gardenias turned brown, just in the past few days. I wasn't even worried about those.

I suspect the local nurseries are going to have a good year.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 3:08PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Crap! Our huge, beautiful Osmanthus fragrans is showing more and more signs of freeze damage. I'm not feeling so good about what might evolve in the warm spring.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:00PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

I noticed today that some of my Lycoris have damaged leaves.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:16PM
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I have 20+ osmanthus planted in my yard (perhaps my favorite?). They have done remarkably well with only minimal damage. My banana shrubs? Not so well. My oldest has sustained major damage, while surprisingly my two youngest shrubs show very little at this point. August Beauty gardenia - hit hard. Confederate jasmine - probably killed to the ground. Any other jasmine - DOA. Any hopes for a positive report this Spring....probably DOA. But "hope springs eternal!" Let's celebrate the survivors (when and if they return).

On a similar note, terramadre, please keep us informed on your guava. A local nursery finally has them and they have been at the top of my list for a while now. I would like to think they are hardy in my area, but am doubtful now. I would love to have one, especially after seeing one in full-bloom outside the Montgomery area a couple of years ago. It was absolutely stunning!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Well, I'm in the 'too soon to tell for sure' camp - I saw my pineapple sage come back from the ground last year when I was convinced it was dead - but I'm not holding out a lot of hope. My two big rosemary bushes look pitiful. I'll know better in a couple of weeks what survivors I have. Meanwhile, I am wintersowing a lot of seeds.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:04PM
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The damage is much more noticeable now that I'm out & about in the yard more. A massive stand of confederate jasmine (trachelospermum jasminoides) is definitely killed to the roots; even a bignonia (crossvine, a hardy Southern native), has been heavily damaged, as have my banana shrubs and osmanthus. Lord knows what I'll not find when I uncover my ginger lilies, elephant ears, etc.

On a positive note for you, I have many pups of agave lophantha and lophantha 'Quadricolor" (and any others from my Exchange Page you'd like).

Have a happy "rest of the Winter from Hell". I look forward to seeing you and Alice at our Spring rendezvous!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:39PM
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madabouteu(8A - central Alabama)

Nelson, I think my quadricolor bit the dust. The large standard lophantha was badly damaged but it looks like it will survive. Agave Montana died. My seedling lophanthas, a strain less attractive than yours, were damaged but will be OK a year from now. Alice and I will be eager to see everybody in May! Tomorrow I will be planting a lot of seeds that need winter sowing - I am very late but that is how things go. In April I will know what I will have ready as transplants.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:55PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL
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