Stattice Damaged by Frost / Remove Flowers to Help it Recover?

rozegardenerNovember 29, 2010

The perennial Stattice (Limonium perezii) we set out in July was exquisite before it got hit by frost. I thought it could take it, and didn't protect the first night of freezing temps which were probably somewhere between 27 to 29 degrees. After the fact I read up, it says damaged at 27 degrees. Some leaves just curled right up and died, others look more like water stained brown paper.

I'd rather not lose the unopened flowers, but after being hit by frost they may not open well anyway. Would it help my stattice to recover if I cut away all the unopened flowers? Or would that be an additional shock to the plants?

I also have a large 5' x 5' fuschia bush that was forgotten, went unprotected and is badly burned on top. I figure that the damage is done now, right? So don't bother protecting, just prune off the damage when spring arrives? Why lock the barn, the horse is gone!

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

You've probably lost the Statice, and the burnt flower stems will not do anything, so best to remove them. I'd suggest cutting off all the damaged foliage, and rigging up a cardboard box or stakes and row cover crop sheeting or a sheet/blanket for further protection if it still looks like it has living parts. Otherwise, if you are lax about giving it protection, simply yank it and replace with a new one in spring once it has warmed up.

I wouldn't worry about the Fuchsia, just prune off the dead branches, and again, if we look to get more record cold, it would help to throw a sheet or blanket over it to prevent more damage. you may have lost all the thinner branches besides the foliage, or not, depending on how long it was subjected to freezing temps.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:26AM
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napapen(ca 15)

I've always been told to leave the dead stuff on until March. This protects the roots which may still be alive.

Penny

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:24PM
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gobluedjm

Mine gets frosted every year and several times and it survives. I've never noticed any damage and its grown everywhere in this area. It has a few new buds right now but not ready to open yet.
I had ice the other day on the Lavatera from the sprinklers and its fine.
If you can't cover the folaige leave it on, it will protect from any more damage during your next cold spell.
The only frost damage I get it is on the Lantana and Honeysuckle but they both come back even better I think.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:38PM
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rozegardener

Thanks everybody. Yes, I cut the flowers off and now I can protect the status better. That first night of the freeze, when the status went unprotected, it was at least as low as 29 degrees. There was 1/4 inch of ice on the bucket. The next time I know that weather will dip that low, I'm just going to cut the flowers off.

I know it won't die because there are still a bottom ring of healthy looking leaves, though the tops are toasted. I will leave on the damaged leaves, GoBlue.

I think I'll take Bahia's advice on the Fuschia and trim away and then cover it if frost threatens, because other wise I may have to wait too long for pretty fuschia flowers. Maybe, I'm still up in the air about that, maybe I'll research it. I'm getting tired of covering plants after 5 days of frost warnings and it's only Dec 1st. The weather on our local TV isn't doing much of a service accurately predicting lows.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 4:38PM
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peggiewho(z9 Ca)

Fuchsias bloom on new wood and are easier to prune now after a frost. They need the hair cut to be beautiful next spring. I don't grow my hair as long as I can because it glues to the top of my flat head from the weight. I prune fuchsia back to the edge of the pot with a round top. Or I pull and stake them up to be confined to the edge of the pot. The in ground ones I cut them off as the stem starts to edge over and droop. It's winter time, we and the plants rest. We get to start over soon enough. I get out an cut out all the slimy stuff that glues other plants down like jellied impatiens. But I don't touch the euphorbia because I want it to come back. And there is a big brown frond on the tree fern that is protecting everything below it that stays too. Personally I don't like a bunch of jury rigged junk thrown over my garden because it is too unsightly. I bring some pots in and pull others close under the eaves. Other then that it's winter time and it's best just to rake leaves and be neat.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 12:04AM
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