Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lone Survivor

The winter freeze of 2009 will not long be forgotten in Florida, for it has left a path of dead and damaged plants in its wake. The 5 or 6 nights of 32 or below temps damaged all of the tropical plants in my garden except for this poinsettia. It is the lone survivor.

Generally, my poinsettia will be hanging its head after one night of freezing temperatures but not this year. I don't understand it because the tropical plant right next to it (I already cut if back) was brown and dead after the first night of freezing weather.

My angel trumpet (more on that later), hibiscus, impatiens, and crotons (not under tree cover) are brown. Even the pygmy date palm branches are singed.

Everytime another freezing night was projected, I figured that would be the end of the poinsettia. My neighbor told me I should cover it up, and my mom said I should cut it back and plant the cuttings. I don't understand how it survived but I'm glad it did. It looks even more beautiful among the brown and dead plants.

7 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This horrid freeze was so unfortunate for your area. I am glad the poinsettas put up a good fight and survived.

Dani said...

I'm so sorry Susan! Will the ones like the Angel Trumpet come back or does it kill them completely?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice to see a little green after those freezes? It was easier to list the ones who made it than the long list of what I will have to cut back come March. My carolina jessamine, bamboo and knockout roses are all champs in my eyes. Glad you had a winner too. And like you we wonder why some made it and others struggled. Ah Florida. It teaches me every day about renewal and the cycles of life.
Susan

nancybond said...

The poinsettias do look beautiful. You said that you had already cut some plants back because of the freeze -- will they recover with new growth when it is warmer, or did the cold kill them...period? Just curious.

Susan said...

Lisa...We can't really complain compared to the nasty weather up north. But we are definitely not used to it.

Dani...Everything will survive and be back to normal by mid-summer. They all need a good haircut at least once a year.

Susan...I saw some Carolina jessamine blooming the other day, and knock-out roses are champs in my eyes too. They just seem to love Florida, even during the hot and humid months. You're right, nature does provide some amazing lessons.

Nancy...We're should wait to cut plants back until the end of February, but it is so hard to look at them that most of us start trimming earlier. Everything will survive and will bounce back quickly once March arrives and they receive a little fertilzer.

texasdaisey said...

I know it must be relief to find something that survived amidst all the destruction. Hope there are more things that come back maybe from the roots.
Debbie

Susan said...

Debbie...I enjoy seeing this flower everytime I walk out on the back deck. Soon I'll trim the dead stuff back and it all should come back quickly.

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