Cold kills the plants

After our hard freeze Friday night (25ºF), most of the annuals and non-hardy perennials saw their brief lives end. Saturday I took a walk around -- after it warmed up a bit -- and surveyed the damage.

It wasn't pretty. Go to bed with green leaves, wake up to brown.


The Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage) leaves always turns such a dark, dramatic color -- it's almost black:

The cypress vines have that dark, limp, cooked lettuce look to them:

As do the snail vine (vigna caracalla) leaves:

and the hyacinth bean vine, although this one doesn't look too bad:

Trust me, it's dead. At least the seedpods are still attractive. In fact, here's another set:

Elephant ears are done now, but I mulched the roots so I can still dig them up and store them in the garage now that they'll be dormant:

The Mexican bush sage (salvia leucantha) has had it too, although the flowers will hold their color for a little while:

I mulched this one as well, as I still want to dig it up and store it too. (Where exactly am I going to find all of the room to store these I wonder?)

The castor beans are completely fried now:

As are the tradescantia zebrina:

Don't worry, I saved a plant and took some cuttings of this one. It's one of my favorite trailing plants, and I may use it as a groundcover next year -- I haven't done that with it yet.

The Mexican petunia looks to be in pretty good shape:

but this Plectranthus 'Cerveza 'n Lime' that shared its pot has had it:

Interestingly, this other one that was on the deck stairs also "melted":

but this third pot which was two steps below the plant in the photo above survived with no damage:

I just can't understand this one. It can't be more cold-hardy because it's the exact same plant (they both came from cuttings of the same plant)... I wonder if the plants that were above it provided it with protection? I just don't know.

It doesn't really matter, because I've taken cuttings of this already to overwinter inside. I must grow this plant, because of it's incredible fragrance.

Luckily this cactus (I've never bothered to research its species) survived -- I had forgotten it was outside.

It would have been a shame to lose this one. I've had it for years and years (isn't that the case with most cactus plants though? I don't know anybody who has a "new" cactus -- they're all quite old) and it's starting to put on some size now.

It's always sad to see these plants go, but Spring is only 4 months (or less) away, right?

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 9, 2010 at 9:45 AM)  

I feel for you. I always find the first frost to be the hardest because mentally I'm never quite prepared for it.

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