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Help with 'Does it freeze'

Posted by laurine97 Z9 TX Gulf Coast (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 22, 07 at 20:05

Help, I'm so confused! :)

I'm a native Houstonian but I never gardened until I spent 5 years in Chicago. So frozen solid soil in the winter is my frame of reference.

I would say something was annual or perennial. Or I'd say it "dies back" (i.e. leaves and crown dissapear and plant comes back from roots in spring) or it was "evergreen".

So my sister-in-law (also near Houston) and I now love talking about plants but she'll ask me "Does it freeze"? What the heck does this mean? Does she mean "is it evergreen" or "does it die back" or "does it come back in spring"? I'm thinking, well DUH, if the temp outside goes down past 32, everything FREEZES, it's a question of does it DIE or not and will it come BACK.

To further confuse the issue, about some plants she'll say "it freezes" and about others she'll say "it freezes but it comes back". Sounds like "freezes" is short for "dies back" and doesn't say anything about returning in spring. Am I on the right track?

Help me out, I don't want to sound like a yankee anymore.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with 'Does it freeze'

That's pretty much right, when people here say something freezes they mean the growth above ground is killed. If you want to be more specific you can say "it freezes down" to indicate something freezes to the ground but generally comes back from the root, and "it freezes out" if it is killed completely by cold.

RE: Help with 'Does it freeze'

If I say it freezes that means it dies when it gets too cold. Otherwise I say it is dormant.
Tally Ho!

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