Best Time to Prune Cold Damaged Plants?

Mikey(SoCal-Z10-22/23)January 15, 2007

I have a lot of tropical and sub-tropical plants showing foliage/stem damage from the freeze. On those plants where I can obviously see the damage, is it better to prune back damaged growth now or should I wait?

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joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Wait until the frost season has passed. I know that there are some people like my better half that gets highly irritated to see dead stuff hanging around and would gladly clean them up when the time affords. But at least I've convinced her that the dead parts, usually the top part, becomes the best natural frost covers that can protect the tree trunks or roots to survive the winter.

I usually clean up when there is no more danger of frost by reading on 10-day forecast. Even then, we could also get a surprise late season arctic blasts. But when that happens, I scamper to place my ready covers.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 2:55PM
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gaza(10 la CA)

i agree,leave well alone.
it looks like hell,and you want to clean up,BUT,dont,it may mean the diference in just lost leaves,or A LOST plant

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 3:24PM
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gardening_fool(9b San Juan Capistrano)

Hello Mikey, I too have alot of damage but have been told not to trim, cut back or remove the damaged leaves or stems until the freeze, frost and artic weather has passed. I have lived in San Juan Capistrano for 16 years and the older neighbors that are familiar with this coastal valley say not until March 15th. The longest I ever waited was March 1rst and it was fine. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can tell you and post it so we all can use the INFO. I have included 2 pictures. One is of the large plant that was damaged and I want to cut it back all the way as it should have never been planted under the eve,Notice that is now all BLACK except a couple leaves at the very top, and the other is of a Helaconia that was burned and somehow the palms survived. Does anyone know if I should cut the Helaconia back to the ground when time to cut back or just leave it?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 3:58PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

I'm in the San Jose area and I usually wait until March 1. We may have a few cold days, but it's unlikely to frost after that date

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:07PM
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Links-R-US. :)


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:52AM
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sanda(Uz10/Sz23 SoCal)

Hi Mikey,
I am sorry about the frost damage to your plants...I'm in the same boat. My tupidanthus looks like the picture above, all the bloodleaf bananas you gave me look like gonners...Do you think they'll come back? Passiflora is fine. I'll have a closer look at the mango and citrus today. I will leave all the yucky stuff on for extra protection. Hope they all make it,

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 4:01PM
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Hi Sanda. With respect to the banana I think it's a case of "wait & see". The leaves on mine are toast but I don't think the main stock was frozen to the point of death.... -Mike

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:13PM
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