Spring frost damage :(

joannembMay 5, 2012

We had a brief warm up here in Cleveland in early March and then some frost. I should have covered my hydrangeas--but it snuck up on me and I did not. My Sister Therese is looking rather worse for wear. Her leaves are brown on the tips. All of my endless summers and blushing brides are the same. I am sure I killed buds on the Sister Therese but am hoping the endless summers will still bloom alright on new wood. Silly question I know, but are the leaves doomed to look brown like this all summer, or as it continues to grow will new leaves fill in and replace the browning ones?

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

New leaves will replace those damaged and mostly browned out. Partially browned out leaves are a toss up; the plant will decide that for itself. Those are some tough shrubs so they will recover.

You could always prune some of the ugliest leaves (cut the petiole that links the leaf and the stem). Depending on the location of some of these damaged leaves, new growth and existing leaves could hide them as well. All things being equal, you should see new growth in 2-4 weeks.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Thank you Luis!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Joann - I'm in the Cleveland area as well and feel your pain. I actual did go out there every night there was a frost and covered with burlap and I have the same damage on my endless summer, burning embers, and another I cant recall the name of. All have the burnt scraggly looking leaves except for on new growth. We'll see how it goes.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 3:54AM
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Wow, many NE Ohio people here. I think calling it frost was an understatement.....LOL....That warm up triggered everything to grow in March and we had multiple FREEZES!! I had coneflowers setting buds in March and even killed off all my foliage on my smoke bush, butterfly bushes, etc. Let alone the mass devastation it did to the macrophylla (big leaf) hydrangeas and spring flowering bulbs. Although it seems everything now is recovering pretty well. I didnt cover anything either and left it in mother natures hands. Done running around the yard with burlap,sheets,towels and anything I can find to cover things in spring. Tired of the all the neighbors goofy looks I get...lol...This is why I replaced all my big leaf hydrangeas with reblooming hydrangeas. I am waiting longer before removing ugly foliage and letting the hydrangeas work it out on their own for a little longer. I have flower buds on many and especially on my blushing brides and twist n shout hydrangeas that should start blooming soon. I love hydrangeas and these newer reblooming varieties are great for people like us. Although with these warm winter we had it looked like many buds set last year were going to make it. Deep down I knew that was to good to be true in our area, something had to give...lol. But I know I will still have a great show in summer, so hard to argue with that!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 11:01AM
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I was out there today checking them out and surprisingly saw the formation of buds on both the new wood and the old scraggly looking stuff! ..I can tell I did lose some of the old wood buds, but still have plenty. Should be good.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:17PM
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thorngrower sw. ont. z5

I'm across the lake in sw ontario and I have all the same things going on. Its going to be an interesting year..

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Ibanez, that makes me feel better that possibly covering them might not have helped... I see quite a few buds on my sister Therese so maybe there is ope for this year,,, fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:21PM
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