Now What? Freeze Damaged Landscaping in North Florida


Each year our area typically has a few hard freezes (temperatures dipped to or below the freezing point, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, at night). This is known to cause browning and sometimes killing of plants, especially tropicals. Just because a planting has turned brown does not mean it's not going to revive itself eventually. Trust a professional landscaper to assist you with freeze damaged landscape designs in Flagler, Volusia, and St. Johns Counties, Florida: contact GreenFlex Landscaping today.

We know that frost damage looks unattractive and your first instinct may be to prune it off or get rid of the plant all together, but it's best to wait until the coldest weather has passed. The brown leaves protect the inner parts of the plant that may still be alive, just sitting dormant until the warm rays of the sun bring it back to its full potential. We also know how and when to fertilize and treat valuable plantings that were affected by freezing temperatures.

Frost damage typically happens on clear nights when the temperature goes below 32 degrees - we had a few nights of this and the problem occurs when water vapor freezes on the leaves of plants, creating frost. There were even reports of snow falling in North Florida this winter, an oddity. Freezes, which we also had, are worse than frosts because they are even colder and cause severe damage to sensitive plants. We had one night that was in the 20s this year, very unusual!

The reason why frosts can damage or kill plants is because during a freeze, water both inside and outside the plant cells freeze, puncturing them and destroying whatever part of the plant where this happens. That's why you may only see browning on part of the plant but not all. Besides browning of leaves, you may also see wilting leaves or even leaves that turn black. You won't know if the plant survived until all cold weather has passed.

If your tropical plants were young and not protected, you may have lost a few. Get in touch with us to replant so that your landscaping design does not suffer from this loss. Semi tropical plants such as hibiscus and bougainvillea may have just been severely damaged and we can prune them properly for the best renewal this spring.

After hard freezing, a plant may die or it may need a minor pruning or a total cut back.  Each plant is different, let us take a look and determine what your best course of action is going to be. If you are unsure, please don't prune your valuable plantings yourself! You run the risk of causing more damage because the new growth that you create is extremely susceptible to cold weather. 

GreenFlex Landscaping provides design, installation, and ongoing maintenance of your beautiful residential and commercial landscaping in North Florida. Find out more about what we offer!

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