freezing temps - trouble?

cbfindlay(z6 OH)April 5, 2007

Help! Ricidulous weather here - 80 degrees on Tuesday, 26 overnight last night. I was told by a garden center the irises would be OK - no blooms of course but lots of blades - so, I went outside this morning, and many of the leaves, esp. the dwarves, look like they froze - darker, wet-looking, a little translucent, like frozen lettuce but obviously thicker. Now what? Are they doomed? Anything I should do for them tonight, when it will be high 20s again?

Cindy in Columbus

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It sounds like your irises already sustained freeze damage last night, so chances are that they won't be any worse off with another freeze tonight. Depending on how far along in bud development they are (even if the buds are down in the leaf fans), you may lose bloom this year, but the plants themselves should survive just fine.

It wouldn't hurt to cover your irises with buckets or garbage cans or some other protection overnight, but it might not do any good at this point, either. Sometimes we have no option but to succumb to Ma Nature's whims, no matter how disappointing they may be.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 11:34AM
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Plants will be fine. Bloom depends on how far along you are.

I just got another foot of snow. I was just seeing bare ground in the front of the house where the sun beats down all day.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 6:58AM
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Temps here (W. TN) got in the low 30's last night. I have hundreds of stalks in several stages, I cut two bloom stalks that were ready to pop open and brought them in. They are beautiful this morning..
I did cover a few with buckets, but just let the rest of them go unprotected. Our show is in 3 weeks and I just hope that we will have something for us to enter.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 9:27AM
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Well just got back in from the gardens. Things don't look good. Lost almost everything I had out there. Tonight will finish off the rest.

I keep telling myself it's not the worst thing that will ever happen to me, but right now I am just so disappointed. All the hard work, all the anticipation over the long winter...gone for another year...


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:12AM
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humminjill(z5 MO)

So, what do we do now if they've frozen? Should we cut off the frozen blades? Will new ones form? Or, should we just leave them be & see what happens?
Anyone with prior experience & advice? I'm all ears!
Thnx -

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 7:18PM
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iris_gal(z9 CA)

hummin jill ~~ leave them be for the time being. In a month you'll know better what foliage to remove. Some will make it and some may not. Keep a list of names of those that don't so you won't plant them again.

I have had rhizomes with no foliage that I swore were goners. Left them alone and they did produce babies! As long as that rhizome is firm!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 1:22AM
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humminjill(z5 MO)

Thanks, Iris Gal! I'll let them go for now.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 9:55AM
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wmoores(7/8 MS)

We had about three weeks of temperatures in the seventies and eighties, up to as high as 86o. Then, came the chill down to 28o and 30o, Saturday and Sunday.

I had tons of things open or about ready to pop. The stalks are now goosenecks, on the ground, or just barely standing. A lot of mushy blooms were dried out and blown away by the strong winds.

When it warms up, I am going to cut out the stalks so they won't rot into the rhizomes - just like I do reblooming stalks when they are cut back by freeze.

My Louisiana foliage looks particularly bad. It is a blackish green and wispy. I expect it to turn brown and fall off. I don't know if it will be replaced by new foliage.

I expect there are some TB buds still in the rhizomes or low enough in the fan to be protected by the fan or warmed by the soil to come out and bloom later. I hope so anyway.

Then, I may see bloom on Japanese only this year.

In being around irises since I was a child, I have never seen anything like this happen before. Oh, there was a light frost or two that got open blooms, but in three days the garden was in full bloom again.

Blooms on azaleas, peonies, grandpaw's whiskers, bridal wreath, viburnum, etc. all ruined.

Walter Moores in North Mississippi

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 11:00AM
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mlwgardener(7b NE MS)

I feel so sorry for all. I know that we can have lots of things that are worse, but to a gardener, death of a long awaited bloom hurts! So far, my Iris don't seem to be damaged. I know I lost some blooms but others look ok. My 600 or so daylilies seem to be ok, too. I've waited 3 years for some of them to bloom. Last year I lost about 75% of my Iris blooms to a hail storm on the exact same day, April the 7th. We, too had the last 2 weeks of March in the high 80s with a few of the nights staying in the mid 60's.

I have severe damage to my Crepe Myrtles, does anyone know if they will put out leaves again?? My red buds have about 80% leaf freeze. Viburnums were blooming, now all the blooms are dead. My hydrangeas were about a foot tall with new growth and 90% of that's dead. I had one Crinum lily blooming, which has never happened before. Now, all of them are frozen down about 75% to the ground. Weeping mulberry tree has lost all it's leaves. I even have a Jap Maple that will loose all it's leaves.

Does anyone know if the Crepes will put out again? Any facts on the rest of these? We broke records with high temps about 10 times in March and now we broke records with lows in April. Talk about strange weather.

I hope that all will get some Iris blooms. To me, Iris have the most beautiful blooms I've ever seen. Even better than my daylilies and that's saying alot. I just love Iris, so I feel your pain to losing so many blooms.

I pray that tonight will be milder and that all the damage is done for one year. Blessing to all, Mona

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 7:24PM
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I came on to post a question about frozen/damaged irises (and everything else in my garden), but I believe this thread covers it all.

I had some bloom stalks and buds on Clarence and wonderful foliage on everything else. It all now is white and laying on the ground. I will hold off trimming until warm hits and the leaves dry out more. I am hoping the rhizomes survive and bloom next year.

We set several record lows in my area. All local orchards are devastated.

Glenda in SW Missouri Z6.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 10:19AM
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eroctuse2(z5 SE Michigan)

I too am sorry to hear about the things that have happened to so many gardeners. I almost feel lucky after hearing the stories here and on iris photos.

I had started to feel sorry for myself because my tulips were flattened and the hyacinths are a little shriveled, but at least my iris hadn't been blooming. The sdb's hadn't even budded yet. I can't imagine losing all of them even if only for a year.

I'll be sure to take more pictures than any of you care to see to try and make up for the blooms that will be missed.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Some good news about the freeze.

After having temps in the low 30's and then another night where the temp dropped to 25...
I have IRISES blooming!!!

Today Country Dance and Delirium opened. (they were both covered with buckets during the freeze.)Of course the flower looks a little pitiful, but I don't know if that is from the freeze, the rains over night or the high winds today.
I also have a few blooms on Goddess of Blue. GOB opened it's first flower on April the 2nd before the cold weather hit. It wasn't covered or protected in any way. So I was really excited when I saw that it continued to bloom.
DS also had Baby Blessed open 2 new flowers today. It first bloomed on March 31st and was covered with a small flowerpot on the coldest nights.

So hopefully all is not lost.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 8:21PM
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I came home last Friday night to find everything in my garden frozen solid, including my irises (which hadn't bloomed yet) and some tulip blooms. I was devastated. Thought I'd lost my entire garden. But then the weather warmed up and everything thawed, and with the exception of one tulip bloom, everything looks fine. No other damage.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 11:16AM
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mlwgardener(7b NE MS)

Oh Littlebit that news sure does make me feel better. When I read your earlier post, I just nearly cried for you. Praise God for his mercy! Thanks for letting us know that you didn't lose all your blooms. It sure makes for a better day. Mona

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:51PM
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