How quickly do these tropicals come back from a freeze?

castorpNovember 20, 2008

Do any of these come back especially quickly from freezes?

Jatropha (Peregrina)


Dwarf firebush


Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria)


Shrimp plant

I live on the 9a-9b border. We usually dip below 32 once or twice every winter here, though sometimes the temps drop into the twenties.

I'm thinking about planting more tropicals in the spring, but I would like to avoid plants that take months and months to come back--or don't come back at all.

I used to grow regular firebush and wild coffee for example, but it took them until May to even start coming back. Because I have such a small garden I just can't afford so much down time.



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Hi Bill--You didn't say if these plants will be planted out in the open or in a protected microclimate, such as under large oaks or up against the house. I live in Lake Helen, and I think Michael said that you live in DeLand, so we have the same weather conditions.

Jatropha--I have 2 bushes that have made it through last winter just fine. During a hard freeze they will get hit hard.

Thryallis--cold hardy.

Dwarf firebush--does take a little time to recover.

Tibouchina--Mine usually gets burned, but not last winter. However, it never looks that great so this winter I am going to remove mine.

Cape coral Honeysuckle--(bush-type)I have grown these in the past. They grow huge with a spreading growth habit. Not a good choice for a small yard.

ixoras--often these don't recover at all.

shrimp plant--If you are taking about the yellow ones, they do take a while to recover. But, they seem to not be impressive here and I have tried for years.

So, your best choice from this list is the thryallis. It is also an excellent bloomer. Good Luck.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 7:00AM
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The firebush dies back naturally each winter and will not flush back until the Spring . My Dwarfs still look good but not for long .

I have red , white , yellow and fruit salad shrimps . The yellow are the most cold sensitive and only survive with being covered each time it gets close to freezing . The other shrimp plants will survive but need lots of pruning throughout the year or they can get quite leggy and out of control .

I agree with Christine . Keep the Thyrallis and pitch the rest . I have room for some orphans !

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:43AM
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Thanks to you both for the information. I was afraid this would be the case.
I'll keep the Thyrallis in mind and forget about the rest.
I haven't bought or planted anything yet. I'm just pondering.

Zone 9 is so difficult.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Jatrophas are "self pruning"...meaning their tips get burned back, but they will eventually fall off and come back out. Mine hasn't frozen back at all since we had a 25 degree night back in 1999 or 2000.

It's sad that people only want things that look pretty all year long. Better stick with evergreens in that case.

I don't mind waiting for my winter struck plants to come back at all. It makes spring all that more interesting.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 4:03PM
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Have jatropha 2 years never have covered-look great.Keep color all year long and butterflies love them.My firebrush are under tree canopy.Only have to cover for very hard freeze.They rebound quickly.Thyrallis-just got one.Truely a beauty.Have not had much luck with ixoras.Needs alot of TLC.Also recently got some golden shrimp plants.Mine are partially under a tree canopy for they do best in part shade.They will get covered if it gets too cold.Worth having and deer do not eat them.Don't need to buy many for they are very easy to start a new plant.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 7:24PM
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