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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Assess Plant Cold Damage in the Spring and Fix It

Q. Are there are any plants I need to prune or trim down before the frost comes to the Las Vegas valley this year?  I noticed that oleander suffers greatly from frost, foxglove, asparagus ferns, potato vine and a purple flower trumpet flowered plant are kissed when the frost comes. Should these be covered also?

            Then we have the variability of the weather. It was not too long ago that we had unusually
Difference in cold damage between two different types of Oleander
warm winters where it hardly froze at all. Then we had a terribly brutal winter with the coldest temperatures hitting us in February when plants were just waking up from dormancy.
            Then we have variability in the plants themselves. As far as oleanders go, there are winter tender types and there are very cold tolerant types.
            My basic advice is to leave most ornamental plants alone. Wait until the coldest part of the winter has passed, or you begin to see the beginnings of new growth, and then remove what has been damaged. Oleander and asparagus fern can be pruned to within a few inches of the ground and they will recover.
Oleander will recover by summer if it is pruned to within a few inches of the ground. in late winter
            This doesn’t hold true with citrus. Citrus planted in cold locations will have to be protected if you want it to survive or you want fruit.

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