Cold Weather Dieback

Just when you think that spring was here to stay, Jack visits Frost at the end of the season, leaving a dirty mess. All too often, unusually warm temperatures inafter winter and early spring can cause big problems in our gardens and landscapes.

These “spring-like” temperatures often cause many plants and trees to rest prematurely. This sudden drop below freezing can have a devastating effect on a new, tender growth. So, what should you do if this happens? It depends.


In addition to the possible loss ofafter-flowering flowers that bloom no after than June (azaleas, hydrangeas and rhododendrons), the plants themselves, as a rule, are much better off. You can choose to remove the dead flower buds (they are gone for the year) for cosmetic purposes. Otherwise, they will eventually fall by themselves.

The newly emerging leaves of the deciduous shrubs seem to have burned or blackened, or as if they had turned into gruel after aafter frost of the season. Fortunately, in many matters (and depending on the severity and duration of the frost), the damage is often limited to the foliage. In a couple of weeks, these leaves are removed when new shoots appear to replace them.

The growth and tops of the newer branches are also prone to dying off. As soon as several weeks have passed and the potential growth of new foliage has appeared, you can see that the trunk will pass away. If you work from top to bottom, cut off the dead stems and tops until the first set of healthy leaf buds at this time.

Evergreen shrubs can also pose harm, but usually in the newest tissues up the plant. An older, thicker foliage below may or may not show signs of damage. Signs of damage are brown or black discoloration or clarity.

Wait for pruning these plants until it is clear that no new shoots will come out of the branches. Usually a new growth will appear at the end of May, when one day it will return. At this time, you can cut the branches for healthy growth.


Trees react similarly to shrubs. Although the foliage of their valuable trees may look terrible at the moment, the trees must have leaves to survive. When a cold wave freezes the foliage at the end of the season, new leaves appear that take their place. In the event that the branches suffer from dying off, you can reduce the dead limbs for healthy growth, to improve the appearance.

Perennials and bulbs

Some perennials and the foliage of the bulbs may also have received a blow. In the matter of hostas, immediately remove the damaged foliage so that the new foliage can light up unhindered. When the foliage has turned into gruel to the ground, go ahead and remove it. New growth is expected.

For oriental and Asian lilies, you can wait a few more weeks to see if new foliage appears from the top of the plant. Although they may not bloom this year, they will need this foliage to store energy for the flowers next year.

I realize that this may require a lot of patience from you and a willingness to endure a few “hideous ones”, but do not be in a hurry to reduce everything or go back at the same time. Plants need to grow! Generating new growth is how you recover and continue to survive. Your patience will be rewarded.

Tender yearbooks

Annual plants and vegetable crops of the warm season, which seem to have melted, do not come back. Consider this a valuable lesson. There is a reason why you do not want to put these plants in your garden before the risk of the last frost has passed.

You can find information about the average date of the last spring frost for your region by calling the popularization service of your local county. This is especially important information for planting delicate perennials and annual plants. In a few years you can deceive Jack Frost,but, as in this season, he sometimes deceives you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.