Late freeze

Robert Pries
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 06:11:53 PDT
Nicholas: I feel your pain! I live in Roxboro, NC where the Raliegh news media comes to take pictures of snow each winter. When I first moved here the temperatures were zone 8 for a couple of years but recent winters have put us back into zone 7. When I moved here I had an extensive breeding program with Lycoris (ongoing for 9 years) and another with Zephyranthes. But one harsh winter wiped me out. The Lycoris would have made it but for the fact they were all in pots. 

We had the same freaky weather as you this week. I am not sure where you are in NC. The Lorapetulums lost their flowers and new growth but other than some new pots fresh from Lowes of Hydrangia the the Hydrangia in the ground were fine. All around me people reported 27 degrees F. but it seems my hilltop must have shed much of the coldest air. The Crinums look OK. 

Before the cold I moved a couple hundred pots of various bulbs into my garage and plan to keep them there until Sunday. Saturday night may be the last freeze, I hope. Your venting gave me some encouragement. Sometimes it seems that gardening is barely worth the effort. I am still mourning the nine years of Lycoris breeding lost a few years back, but I should have brought those pots in. I feel this time I at least partly dodged the bullet. I can not wait to bring out the several hundred bulb pots that are dormant in my basement, mostly caladiums and achimines. Of special note, I left about a dozen pots of Oxalis triangularis out and they weathered the cold with no damage.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nicholas Plummer" <>
Sent: Thursday, April 7, 2016 7:19:47 AM
Subject: [pbs] Late freeze

Well not late according to the calendar, but we had three weeks of warm weather, so there was a lot of tender growth in the garden.  30 F burned new foliage on emerging crinums and Hippeastrums and destroyed Bletilla inflorescences, but most bulbs and geophytes were reasonably well protected.  It was shrubs, including some natives, that took the brunt.  Flowers and buds are mush on azaleas and fringe tree.  New growth is dead on Hydrangea macrophylla and figs (including a promising crop of fruit!).  It's the third year in a row that Hydrangea buds were destroyed.  Might be time to dig them up and try something else.

28 F forecast for Saturday night.  I may dump piles of mulch on the young Eucomis and Hedychium foliage that is poking above the soil.

Just had to vent.  The garden looked so much nicer three days ago.

in North Carolina (zone 7)

Bob Pries
Zone 7a
Roxboro, NC

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