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Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

Posted by tundrah 10 SoCA Coastal (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 22:14

Hi all. Hope you all are staying warm! Just checked the weather and it's threatening a low of 28 on Monday!!! Yikes!

I am mostly concerned about my staghorns and my lime tree. For the stags I thought I could take all the small ones down and hide them under the deck against the house. My big guy is very heavy and tough to move--I guess I can just cover him with a blanket??

Also RE my dear lime tree--we've been through a lot together. He's endured enough abuse by me. Should I tarp him or will he suffocate?

Any advice welcome, thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

Make sure the plants are well watered so the frost does not suck moisture out of the plant. I put on cloud cover which is a wax spray to coat leaves. you can put lights (xmas) around the plant and put a tarp, sheet, blanket over the plant.
Move into garage. This will pass. Any damaged leaves should be left on the plant until late March to protect new growth. Penny

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

The gerberas had a towel over them and look perfect. I'm becoming a towel or blanket convert instead of sheets.

Unprotected bougainvilleas, brugsmansias, and hibiscus are all black here,

Darn, I forgot to protect ivy geraniums until tonight.

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

Where are you on the coast? I'm in Santa Monica and our lowest so far has been 43. No threat of freeze here.

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

It hit 30f in Hayward...Brugs are melted..but that wasnt cold enough to affect Hibiscus. Again,its how a degree here and there has different results.
Staghorns under any cover would be fine even at 28f. I have P.bifurcatum and P.superbum under Podocarpus trees. P.bifurcatum has only had damage at 24f. 1990.
Oh,and my neighbors have Lime tree's. They took 28f in 1998. I wouldn't ask Key Lime to take that,but the others sold here are fairly hardy.

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

The other night we hit 22F here in the Central Valley! BRRRR....Most of the subtropical plants melted, like my Calla :( Now its green mush and so are the elephant ears, hibiscus and cannas. The irises seem to be as happy as can be still. My current heartache has been seeing my bower vine's black leaves after it hit 24F, I moved it into my makeshift greenhouse to let it bounce back. I sure hope it does.

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

  • Posted by tundrah 10 SoCA Coastal (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 14:26

Thanks everyone. Fortunately the forecasts backed off at the last second--Sunday night was the coldest, around freezing I believe, but last night wasnt as bad as originally predicted. My digital thermometer pooped out on me last night but I think it wasnt colder than 34 or so.

I am in Oceanside, about a mile in from the water, and for whatever reason our temps have been about the same here as those significantly inland from us (10-15m) as far as I can tell.

The lime tree came through just fine. All blooms/buds looking good. He looks fab in his Christmas lights so we'll just keep those on til either the end of the holidays of the sub 40s weather ends, whichever comes later.

All the other plants look fine as well. One other biggie I forgot to mention, though they appear all well so far, are my cymbidiums. Also dragged them under the deck and all seems well, but how hardy are they really?

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

My Cymbidiums were never covered,not even in a particularly warm spot- fronting the big Brug's that melted- and the Cyms are in pots too. And just as green as can be...maybe too green in winters low light. They are able to take the worst 10a winter.
Now,since I have Trader Joe quality Cymbidiums I don't know if those fantastic hybrids with long arches of flowers are as cold tolerant. I would guess pretty close.

RE: Below freezing on the coast--help!!!

I'm also in Oceanside,closer to the ocean than you are,we also have a canyon behind us,.But as far as my plants go,so far so good.Yhe lilies are in bloom,but all their foiliage that was left is very yellow,but the flowers bloom on.On the 14 of dec I walked out in the backyard,and what did I see?? The most beautiful purple iris blooming it's head off.

Some of my epis have burgundy leaves now,but I think they will be ok as they are up against the house,so are protected from the winds,and we get some pretty strong winds off the ocean and across the canyon.

My staghorns look fine also,i gave them all a drink today, and my brugs are blooming their fool heads off as well.

Except for the yellowed leaves on the perinnials I don't see much damage so far,thank goodness.Hope it stays that way.

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