We have all experienced a devastating blow from Mother Nature in the form of a major frost and freeze. Even though we covered our plants damage still occurred. Frost cloth give a temperature buffer of about 4‐5 degrees F. I know that the I‐75 area of Sarasota near Bee Ridge Road received temperatures of 25 and 26 Degrees for three nights is a row. Further North and East was probably even colder! Areas under trees did better than areas out in the open.
The plants that froze will turn brown and most of the leaves will fall off. Resist trimming until the threat of frost is over, usually mid‐March. Be patient, it’s only about a month away. If we trim now, and another freeze occurs, it will freeze even lower into the plant and total death to the plant is likely. In March, we will trim plants back to the green parts of the plant. Many of these plants include Hibiscus, Schefflera, Xanadu, Bougainvillea, Gold Mound, Jasmine, etc. Some plants will more than likely need to be replaced like Ixora, Dwarf Ixora, (maybe) Gold Mound and Annuals. Most grass will come back rather quickly. Major trimming and plant replacement will cost extra.
Keep in mind that most plants have gone dormant as a self protection against the cold. Water absorption and evaporation is at a minimum. Excess water can quickly lead to fungal and decay problems. Water only once every two weeks. Most controllers can NOT be programmed this way so you will have to do it on your own. Turn your controllers to the “OFF” position and on your watering day, turn it to “AUTO” position and run the system manually. Then turn the system back to the “OFF” position for another two week or so. TV and Radio are constantly running ads showing and telling you how to do this. Below and on the back are pictures of frost damage to plants you probably have seen in your landscaping. If you have damage to any of the plants where replacement is recommended, we would like to meet and discuss a plan of attack.