Sunday, February 6, 2011

Uncovering The Plants

Unwrapping the plants from their protective (ha!) covers is a bit like an evil birthday party where many of the gifts are pleasant surprises, but a few are twisted, melting, blackened carcasses.  Ooo, what fun - let's open the next one.

For this posting, I'll examine the plants which were left outside but received some form of protection.  (Will examine those left to fend for themselves on a subsequent posting.)

The Foxtail Fern (Asparagus densiflorus 'Meyersii') showed some minor damage, but actually came through in good shape (especially for a recently potted plant).

The two Sago Palms came through beautifully.  Of course, not only did they receive a cover, but a spotlight was placed underneath each one to give some additional warmth.  The light bulb trick made a huge difference.

The Dyckias are all looking a little sad - a combination of cold and cover weight.  Some of the spiky leaves seem a little more pliable than normal.  Will have to wait to see how well they recover, but I'm at least hopeful.
Dyckia 'Cherry Coke'

Red-leafed Dyckia (Dyckia 'Red Devil')

Pineapple Dyckia (Dyckia brevifolia)

Bronze Dyckia (Dyckia fosteriana 'Bronze')

Dyckia platyphylla

The Soap Aloes (Aloe saponaria) got hammered.  For that length of cold, covers made no difference.  They likely would have benefited from the addition of a light source for warmth, but that would be difficult as they are widely scattered around the yard.

But at least some of the pups appear to be firm and strong, so there is a chance some will survive and grow from these.

The Aloe 'Hedgehog' (Aloe humilis 'Hedgehog') also got hit hard.  Though it appears that some portions of the plant will likely survive, it will be significantly reduced.  In the future, my succulent bed may get its own spotlight.

In the covered succulent bed along with some of the Aloes and Dyckias, this Manfreda looks rather sad.  Species unknown, it has seemed less hardy as the 'Macho Mocha' - but the seller at the Austin Cactus & Succulent show said it would likely die back to the ground, but would return.

The Pittosporum Creme De Mint (Pittosporum tobira 'Shima') will, in the future, likely not even get covered.  It only received special treatment this winter since it was a recent transplant.  Though somehwat flattened, it appears to be in a good shape.

Much like the Pittosprum, the Sparkler Sedge (Carex phyllocephala 'Sparkler') primarily got protection due to their recent planting.  All of them came through with little or no damage.

The following seemed to have survived with varying degrees of damage:
Though difficult to burrow inside to determine, it appears that all the plants in the pop-up greenhouse have come through the deep freeze just fine.

The vast majority of my plants are typically left to fend for themselves.  In the near future, I will try to post a listing of those that show damage and those that looked bad but recovered.


  1. I think for me the biggest surprise is your sago's...they look fabulous! Hopefully some of the others will pull through...(hope your real birthday is nothing like this)

  2. Your foxtails look great. I saw some at a shopping center that had turned a translucent white after the freeze. They were beautiful in a strange way, but if they are still alive, they will have quite a bit to overcome when they start growing in the spring. Looking forward to seeing how your other shade lovers faired and comparing notes from my own yard.

  3. My agaves & aloes were hit so bad last year that there were only small plants to lose this time and I didn't even bother to cover them. But you made a heroic effort, RBell! Hope yours recover.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. Danger: Placing a spotlight under the cover obviously makes a huge difference; I tend to pamper the Sagos because they grow quite slowly under my shadier conditions.

    Abbey: The Foxtails seemed to have taken some damage, but they're looking better than I had hoped (especially the unprotected one).

    Annie: I figured the Aloes were in trouble, but the Soap Aloes had surprised me in the past. But this lengthy freeze period was just too much for them.