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Frost-bitten on top

Posted by lightfootfan Michigan (My Page) on
Thu, May 1, 08 at 9:20

We have Dahlias, which we planted a week ago because the weather here has been so nice. The last few nights were close to freezing, so I covered the plants. They were fine till last night.
Even though the Dahlias were covered, the temp got down to 27F and when I uncovered the plants, which are about 18 inches high now, the top few branches were blackened. The plant is nice and green below that.
Will it come back? Should I trim off the blackened leaves?
I'm new at this, so please help soon.
Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Frost-bitten on top

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (near (My Page) on
    Thu, May 1, 08 at 13:01

I would trim off the blackened part to just above a leaf which is still green. You are letting nature do your pinching back. Hopefully it will all work out for you. Next year, hold back until ALL danger of frost is over before planting.

RE: Frost-bitten on top

it is so hard to tell when "All danger of frost has past" these days with Climate Change. I mean we thought we were done with snow two weeks ago (and the weather the weekend before it was lovely) and yet there it was.
Ma Nature has gone all hormonal on us.

RE: Frost-bitten on top

Looking up historical lows gives you a pretty good idea, despite climate change. For me its pretty easy, I just remember a few years ago when a bunch of kids were camping on my lawn and the temperature went down to 0C on a May 24th weekend.

Another mistake people seem to make is planning for planting out pre-started Dahlias versus when others plant out tubers with eyes. In-ground frost has already past, and if you consider it would likely take 6 weeks for a plant to emerge from the soil, you realize that they aren't likely to be subjected to air-frost prior to mid-june in my zone, later if the tubers went in on May 24 as is customary around here.


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