The Pee Dee region of South Carolina may have gotten one of its harshest winters, but don’t give up on your plants just yet! With proper care, many of your plants will perk up as the temperatures warm up again. It may be tempting to pull out many of your specimens that look ravaged by the cold weather, however, with a little patience, your beds will flourish and regain their beauty. It is also important to recognize when plants are affected by extreme weather conditions and when they are just going through their dormancy period.
As proud residents of the Palmetto State, many people have some type of palm incorporated into their landscapes.
“As many of you may have noticed, palm fronds tend to get droopy and burnt after freezing temperatures,” says our native plant specialist Robert Davidson. “However, cold hardy palms will bounce back as long as the center growth point is still green and sturdy.”
It is not the cold that will kill the palms, but a fungus that attacks the growth points after the thermometer drops. Copper hydroxide fungicide can stop the fungus before it has time to spread and kill your palm. A commonly used product for this procedure is Kocide 3000, produced by Dupont. An initial instinct is to cut back the dead or burnt fronds after a freeze because they look less aesthetically pleasing, but it is important to leave them over winter as they act as insulators for the growth point. As long as the center growth points remain strong, your whole palm will bounce back after a winter like South Carolina has received thus far.
There are also many fleshy perennials that will re-surge in the spring. Simply cut back the goopy, melted foliage and patiently wait for new growth to emerge. Katie Dickson, Senior Horticulturist, oversees all of Moore Farms Botanical Garden’s landscape efforts in downtown Lake City and understands the desire to just rip out and replant for an attractive design. Over her years working in horticulture, she has seen the below varieties resurrect even after the harshest of South Carolina winters.
Other plants on the grounds seem to be taking the winter with some disagreement. However, some of these plants naturally change their structure in order to survive the winter better. We even have some annuals that are making a come back from being under snow.
If you have any questions about plants resurrecting after winter months, send a question to our “Ask An Expert” area for our horticulturists to offer advice! When you begin to analyze your plants, wait at least until May or June to make a permanent decision to pull out perennials. Most importantly, don’t give up just yet! If you’re interested in visiting Moore Farms Botanical Garden in person, check out our upcoming events, Bulbapalooza and May Days!
By Roberta Burns, Events and Marketing Coordinator.