The Dallas deep freeze we experienced last week here in Texas was historic for the amount of snowfall and sustained below-freezing temperatures. We hope that your family and home came out on the other side largely unscathed, but even if you were so lucky, you’re probably concerned about your garden plantings.

The first thing to do if you think you’ve experienced damage is to not rush to judgement. In most cases, you won’t know the extent of winter freeze damage until plants try to leaf out in the spring. If leaves are turned brown don’t assume that the plant will not produce new growth. Generally, it won’t be until mid to late April that we are able to know for certain if, and to what extent, the damage is.

Splendid Gardens participated in a Texas A&M Zoom conference this past week addressing Landscape Winter Storm Recovery, this is a recap from our state experts:

Be patient, we will have a very slow, late spring, green-up and recovery in both turfgrass and plants. Irrigation systems might have damage. We will be testing systems within the next couple of weeks.

Turfgrass: There will be more damage to St Augustine than Zoysia and Bermuda

Perennials: We will hold off pruning until after March 15th, the average last frost date in Dallas; we can do some cleaning to 12″ if needed.

Daylilies in a Deep Freeze

Trees and Shrubs

Oleanders Will Most Likely Suffer Fatal Damage

1. Can have some brown or bleached foliage with more damage on the south, southwest, or windward sides of your property; we want to wait until mid-spring before pruning.

2. Can have bud damage, bark damage, die back, broken branches, and root damage.

3. Rodents will not have their natural food sources and we may see them feeding on bark, twigs, flower buds, and leaves.

4. Plants on the edge of beds will have more damage than plants in the center of the beds that are more insulated.

Different Plants React Differently to Freezing Temperatures

Pittosporums: If the bark starts to slide off after a few weeks they will not come back. Nor will they come back from their roots.

Gardenias: Generally regular gardenias that are exposed to temperatures of 20 F or below are likely to have freeze damage, and could possibly be lost. If they freeze completely to the ground, they usually do not come back.

Azaleas: Most are winter hardy. When it turns cold they can begin to drop leaves, usually this is not a concern

Live Oaks: Some will start to drop leaves following extremely cold weather. No cause for concern.

Crape Myrtles: We have seen some varieties suffer freeze damage in the past. If they do die, we can cut them to the ground and allow the new sprouts to develop into a new tree over several years.

Palms: Unwrapped, there are a few that will survive our winters in North Texas. You will want to wait to see if you have new growth out of the tops of your plants. Which you will not know until new spring growth begins.

Agave: will have damage, but wait to cut back.

Indian Hawthorne: likely have serious damage.

Oleander: will likely have fatal damage.

Nandina: likely to have moderate damage.

Asian Jasmine: We have seen this plant die to the ground before after hard freezes. You can generally mow it back to within 2-3 inches of the soil and it will generally send out strong new growth in the spring. If it is in the heavy shade it may not come back.

Dallas Deep Freeze

Don’t Rush To Judgement

The best advice we can give you right now is not to rush to judgment. This was a historic weather event for the Dallas area. It’s important not to act too soon. Let’s let spring come in to see the gradual green-up. We will access the damage in April as the Texas A&M experts advise.

Splendid Gardens provides professional landscape services to Dallas and surrounding cities in North Texas. We take great pride in delivering customized services to each client. Our experienced teams provide a variety of services including landscape design, installation, scheduled maintenance services, custom flagstone, and redesign of existing landscapes.  We actively give back to the community by volunteering our services to local projects in need.

 

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