Gold Star Esperanza & Country Red crepe myrtle - freeze damage

TammyTXgardner(8b)March 26, 2013

I messed up. Let's hope it wasn't a fatal mistake.

I planted a lot of new plants in the past few weeks. In my attempts to cover all my babies before the freeze I somehow missed two of them. A small (4 foot tall) Country Red crepe myrtle I grew from a cutting off my grandmother's tree at her old house, and a newly purchased Gold Star Esperanza.

Both of these were put in the ground last week. The the crepe myrtle was previously in a southern exposure on my deck in a pot, it had reached the ball looking bud stage of leafing out. The Esperanza was straight from a box store, and had 5, 2 foot stalks with green leaves on them.

When I was out removing the covers this morning I saw the freeze damage on their foliage. Both still had a hint of green left. I watered them, which was probably a kiss of death since not long after that I noticed the foliage on both had turned a sickly brown/green all over.

Since they both were recently transplanted to their permanent homes in the ground, has the stress of being exposed to the freezing temps (it was 32 here at 6AM, and up to 33 by 7AM) killed them, or do you folks think they may recover?

I can't believe I may have killed Grandma's crepe myrtle I've been trying to grow for the past three years. I should lose my gardening rights if it doesn't make it. :-(

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I'd say give it about two weeks to see if they make it through. It may have been 30ish around the foliage but right down near the ground its sometimes warmer. I hope they both make it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:54PM
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mistigardens(TX 7/8)

cut them both back so the plant does not stress out trying to save all the leaves. Leave some leafs , so they can still survive. they might just make it, I have the same problem with a newly uprooted esperanza I received. One in gallon pot looks great, the other one lookes frozen. I cut back some leaves and watered.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 11:43PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

New growth on our turkscap (malvaviscus arboreus) suffered similar damage, but plants will be fine. Should be same with your esperanza and crepe myrtle since both are at least root hardy at the recent temps. They'll be set back a bit, but would be a fluke for them to be shocked to death by such a brief and light freeze.

Our Tecoma stans var. angustata is more cold hardy than Gold Star and suffered no damage; this variety may be more sustainable in your zone. TAMU has Gold Star rated for 9.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 12:12AM
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