Tag Archives: Freeze

Mexican Honeysuckle – First Responder from 2021 Winter Storm by Kirk Walden

Protective Covering Not Enough I have a lot of Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia Spicigera) scattered around the front of my house. Too much, in fact that I couldn’t cover it all in anticipation of February’s storm. So, I chose to protect one of the largest patches near my front door. It was nearly four feet tall and six feet wide. I covered it with a tarp and weighted the corners down with large rocks. That turned out to be futile. When I uncovered it, the damage was evident. (Figure… Read More →

Novice Perennial Planter Meets the 2021 Winter Storm by Linda Burch

Learning to Garden In Texas In 2013, I moved to Round Rock. Texas, growing Zone 8B. I quickly learned that growing plants as a Master Gardener in Virginia required a whole new learning curve in Texas. I decided to plant Texas native and adaptive perennial plants along with a few annuals to keep the beds in my front and back yard in bloom from at least Spring through Fall each year.  Bulbs, perennial ground covers, and annual seeds round out the planting. How Did Lantana Weather the Storm?… Read More →

Overwintering our Friends by Marge Trachtenberg

Overwinter Plants During Austin’s Crazy February Storms We have all read the books and articles on how to overwinter plants in the house. We read that we should start getting them used to less light, less water, less fertilizer, and less attention. We read that we should check for diseases, insects or even slithering critters, before making the transition from outside to inside. It all makes for good common sense, especially for those of us with a geranium or two, a Sansevieria that lives under the trees all… Read More →

One Tough Plant – Japanese Aralia by Yvonne Schneider

Impulse Buy Becomes One Tough Plant I have to admit it, I bought my Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica) off a discount shelf at a Houston big box store because I loved the shape of the leaves and it looked so healthy! It was the end of the summer season and they were clearing out their plants in favor of space for the upcoming Christmas trees – and my eyes always wonder toward any plant I’ve not seen before. The Aralia caught my eye, as the leaves were deep… Read More →

Variegated Ginger – Surprising 2021 Winter Storm Survivor by Kirk Walden

Micro-climate, Macro-effect The Snowmageddon of February 2021 totally wiped out 26 of my agaves. But a tender perennial, variegated ginger, made a surprising comeback. My Variegated Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) was a real specimen plant, anchoring one end of my front porch. It was ideally situated: sheltered by the house on one side and the porch on the other, next to an intake to a French drain. It got six hours or less of sun a day. Over the eight years it had been in place, it had grown… Read More →

Huisache – the 2021 Winter Storm Survivor by Kirk Walden

The Right Plant for the Right Place Driving around the Austin area you see a lot of trees suffering winter storm damage from the February 2021 freeze. And while arborists have been busy cutting down trees, I have a great success story to share. In September of 2020, a Wax Myrtle across from my front door died inexplicably. I didn’t want such a prominent spot to be empty for long, so set to selecting a replacement. I wanted something showy, since it sits directly across from the front… Read More →

Austin Landscapes Survive 2021 Winter Storm Uri by Yvonne Schneider

Travis County Master Gardeners Track Winter Freeze Recovery Process Numerous landscape plants and trees were toppled by the freezing rain and snow sent by Winter Storm Uri in February, with most plant foliage becoming brown and crispy within days or weeks. Homeowners and gardeners wondered – do we have to start over with the landscape, and how much is all this going to cost? Can we even find the plants we’d like to buy? The Travis County Master Gardeners had the same questions, and researched the progress of… Read More →

Plant Freeze Recovery Tips from the 2021 Winter Storm

Time to Remove Frost Protection Now that the record-shattering cold has left Texas, you now may be turning your attention to the plants in your landscape and wondering what you should do for freeze recovery. I walked around my neighborhood on the first day after the big thaw and was surprised to see so little damage. But my neighborhood is young’ish (I’ve been in my home 12 years), so the trees are all relatively small–no huge branches to break under the weight of ice and snow. Many cacti… Read More →

Plant Freeze Protection from Arctic Blast

Plant Freeze Protection in Abnormally Cold Weather Like most gardeners, I pay particular attention to the weather, combining observation and information to make a plan for garden maintenance. Usually, that decision-making process involves adjusting to excessive heat and drought. I’m downright vigilant about the heat. But the cold? Making plans for plant freeze protection? Well, I don’t really think too much about it. Like many Central Texans, I’ve grown a bit complacent about cold weather, not having seen much of it in the last decade. But when the… Read More →