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Frost damage

I live inland in an open spot and two weeks ago we had a sudden hard frost. Now many of my plants are frost damaged and I'm not sure how best to treat them. I've read that they should and shouldn't be pruned, but as they are different plants and have suffered damage to different extents I'd like a bit of advice. The damaged plants are acers damaged to varying degrees, hydrangeas, the tops of box topiary, many leaves and flowers on my wisteria and some dahlias I'd planted out but covered with plastic bottles. some of the dahlias look really frazzled but others it's only on a few leaves. I do have back up dahlias in the greenhouse so wondering whether to dig up the damaged ones and replace. Last winter  I also got a magnolia red lucky that had started to bud and leaf but all have been damaged. Will the white plant die now? Will I get any flowers? I know frost damage is a common problem so hoping for some reassuring advice. Absolutely gutted, I can tell you. 


  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Rob, hydrangeas will be okay but wait until the end of the month before cutting off the frosted bits,

    SW Scotland
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,016

    That's gardening for you Rob image

    All those plants will recover and be fine. It just looks a bit manky. You'll sacrifice flowers on most of them this year.

    I'd leave the damaged 'ends' for now, and once the weather is set fair with no more frost, you can trim and tidy them then. Damaged leaves on hyrangea will drop off, but when you have some new helathy growth on them you could  remove the blackened leaves. The dahlias would have needed more protection than a plastic bottle if they were in the ground,  but I'd reckon you could take the frosted bits off those, and they'll be fine. They'll just flower later than usual. The magnolia will also be fine, but you'll have to wait till next year for your display. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RobmarstonRobmarston Posts: 338

    Thanks fairy girl. I thought that might be the answer. I guess we live and learn. I only have a small greenhouse so I'm always keen to get things out but maybe a bit too keen. Gutted about the flowers though. Gardening seems to always being about waiting a year. You do, feel proud of your patience, get excited and then frost comes and makes you wait even longer. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,016

    It's just the way of it Rob. I did the same when I was younger - I think we've all done it.

    We're used to waiting up here in the north, and I learned a long time ago to forget about having lots of less hardy plants  as I don't have the time for doing them - much as I'd like to! 

    Even so - I still insist on growing tulips, even though they usually get annihilated with wind and rain most years. This year has been great as we've had less rain and wind, and the soil has warmed up more quickly. I'm making the most of it  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Funnily one of the losses during the winter has been my tulips. I have hundreds planted in the rose border and add more every year. This year only the new ones have flowered. I know that tulips are not particularly long lasting but I have ones round the back that have flowered consistently for almost twenty years! In a sense gardening not only teaches you patience, but also teaches you to deal with loss. In my case it means I can change the colour scheme of the tulips in the front - up until now it has always been pale pink and deep purple. Not any more - can't wait until the bulb catelogues come in! Look on any losses as new opportunity to do something different.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • RobmarstonRobmarston Posts: 338

    That's a good way of looking at it Hogweed, and works for the dahlias, but the acers are my pride and joy.

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