Brrrr! The BEEG Freeze

onederwJanuary 12, 2013

Temps in southern California headed below freezing tonite; some of us probably got there last night as well. What plants are you protecting, and how?


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I covered my succulents last night and will continue until Wed. I used dollar store flannel backed plastic tablecloths with some magnetic chips clips to add weight to the ends. I've also used a few cheap fleece blankets over a 75yo jade plant and another potted plant.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 12:01AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I didn't do anything except close the chicken's window and cut the reblooming irises to bring inside. Now I think I should cut the orchids too. Thanks for the reminder.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 1:01AM
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I got damage on my tomatoes before I could do anything, but the pot was too heavy/bulky to move easily, and they almost never get damage. I picked the green tomatoes yesterday and will cook them that way.

I brought in all my phalaenopsis orchids, as the leaves can get damaged with temps below 40 degree, and they really prefer for it not to get below 45. Anyway, I got them in yesterday, and so they are all okay now. I want to build a shelf for them to stay permanently inside, but that will be for another season. I have protected enclosures outside for my other orchids, but I'll have to check to see if they made it okay. Most of them are pretty hardy, and the cymbidiums are putting out lots of spikes and flowers now - see pic below of one I brought in.
I had already bought in an oncidium and a zygopetalum with spikes that had flowers about to bloom. It got down to 37 degrees at my house this morning, but not so cold in the protected areas. This is the coldest it's ever been at my house, and I hope this is not a trend.


This post was edited by publickman on Mon, Jan 14, 13 at 18:39

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Waaa. The mini hedge I worked so hard on all year that the bees love was hit. It's going to be bare in many places. I think it is called Mexican Heather. It has fine foliage and a tiny med pink flower all spring and summer. Should I cut the whole thing to the ground or just cut away the dead stuff?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Do nothing until all chance of frost is past. New growth produced in response to the pruning will be even more susceptible to frost damage. In addition, damaged leaves on top will protect lower parts.

If you aren't familiar with how it will respond to the damage, you may want to hold off on pruning until new growth resumes, that way you don't unintentionally cut away healthy branches (sometimes there are undamaged dormant buds in spite of the frozen leaves).


    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 9:55PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Don't do anything til spring!

Lars, love your orchids! I cut mine off and brought them inside, and they look lovely- golden yellow in a silver vase. They smell funky, though. I'm glad it isn't my feet after all :)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:46AM
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My cymbidiums have a sweet smell although my brother cannot smell them. I like their fragrance, but your might smell different.

I had what appears to be frost damage on my banana trees in the back yard, which are near the walls that border the neighbors back yards. One is an ice cream banana, and it is a single tree right in the middle of the back yard at the back wall, where it gets the most sun but is also the least protected. The other is a clump of four trees that I thought were going to make bananas. All I know is that it is some kind of musa banana, which I planted 2-3 years ago, and it has grown well but has not yet flowered. Three of the four trees are now completely brown, but the other has new green foliage at the top. The lowest recorded temperature at my house was 37 degrees, which is the coldest it's been since I moved there, but there was light frost on the grass in my back yard and on my car windshield one morning, parked on the street in front. None of my herbs, such as basil or oregano, were harmed, and the areas where I keep the orchids stayed a bit warmer because they are protected. I'm wondering how much colder the extremes of my yard get compared to the areas right next to the house. The back yard is the highest ground in my immediate neighborhood, although the incline is so minor that you can barely detect it. One of the reasons I bought the house was that I noticed that all water would drain away from it. Now I'm wondering if being on a slight hill is an advantage or not. I'm not far from the Armstrong Nursery on Sepulveda in Westchester, and they had similar temps to mine but didn't have damage, but they covered a lot of their plants.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:41PM
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I covered the marginal plants..and it made a huge difference. My Mango looks good. Its in ground. Ironic that the only night I didn't cover they said mid 30's,it dropped to 34 or a bit less..and THAT singed a couple of leaves. I know that plant was only two old worn out t shirts from being killed or cut to the ground.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 4:54PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Do we need to send you a CARE package of worn out T-shirts?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:18PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

And it was 80F today. So much for winter.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 12:56AM
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Nah,my coconut palms and Breadfruit tree's are good to go.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 7:28PM
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