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Posted by pieper 9 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 7, 11 at 13:47

Like most, many of my plants were hard hit by the freezes here in NE Tucson. Need advice or input on cutting back how-tos for plumbago, cape honeysuckle, jasmine, cat's claw, pyracantha, butterfly bushes, fairy dusters, a completely naked lemon tree, bottle brush and even some hard-hit agaves. Just about everything!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

I'm just leaving mine alone (also in NE Tucson).

If - IF - anything comes back, I'll cut away the dead stuff once sufficient new growth reappears, but not until after April Fools Day. It's been a weird year and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we got nailed again this month.

Anything that died (are you listening, Mr. Willow Acacia?) will NOT be invited back into my yard ;)

RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

Thanks for the reply. I so dislike seeing all these dead sticks/stems, but know you're right about holding off until at least April. Despite having covered everything, using lights and smudge pots, my biggest loss looks to be a very prolific lemon tree. I am hoping it comes back. It's going to be an ugly spring...

RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

... ugly for us, not for the nurseries!

Hope your lemon tree comes back too. We really wanted to plant one this fall; having second thoughts. Keep us posted.

Oddly, the freezes and lack of rain seem to have invigorated some of my plants. A claret cup cactus, several years old, has never bloomed; this year it has over a dozen flowerbuds on it. Same with 2 beavertail/black-spine cactus hybrids. The creosote bushes look greener than usual, and the red-spike ice plants that didn't freeze to the ground are exploding with blooms right now. Even many nearly-dead aloes aloes are sending up flowers... weird!

RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

I saw a segment on the news that said that some of the plants that look totally dead might start coming back to life as late as June. So if you can be patient, wait longer than April Fools.

Juttah, my Willow Acacia looks stone dead, too. But my Improved Meyer Lemon pulled through, with blankets and a light for heat. And I'm in a cold sink. It isn't very happy (isn't putting out new growth yet, like my tiny orange tree) but it's definitely still kicking, only minor twig and leaf damage. I bought it pretty big/mature, and I think the Improved Meyer are more cold hardy than most other lemon varieties.


RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

Good to hear about some plants bouncing back. :) I do see some tentative shoots on several (but not all, LOL) of my lantanas, and my 'Orange Jubilee' Tecoma is covered with lusty new green shoots, so there's hope (a month ago it looked like several broom handles holding up a haystack). Hopefully there will be more good reports of plants rebounding.

All but two of my citrus came through totally fine. My large 'Meyer Improved' lemon and my 'Lisbon' lemon had a lot of foliage burn (which has since fallen off, ugh) but they're making new growth now too and they have 50% of their original leaves and still great fruit so I'm hopeful they'll look good again some day. I lost my largest all green pencil cactus (Euphorbia), but my two others in my front yard look totally fine. Silly microclimates.

Juttah, your comments to your willow acacia made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the updates (good or bad) and for the chuckle.

Take care,

RE: Post-freeze/Tucson

There's no way I could wait that long! I've been cutting back over the past four weeks or so. I knocked all the dead leaves off of my cape honeysuckle and cut some of the branches down, salvaging the VERY rare stem with green on it. As for my baja fairy duster (pink), I trimmed it back a few weeks ago, which has left it with fewer blooms than usual, but it had barely any foliage and was overdue for a trim. I will prune it well after its done blooming so it will be ready for next year.

I've cut my lantana and Bougainvilla as well as my Mexican and red bird of paradise. It was a rough winter, but I'm already getting new shoots on almost everything. I sure do miss green! We've been in our house for just under three years but this is the first time we have had so much die back!

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