Many plants in Tucson and surrounding areas suffered damage from below freezing temps, recently.  We recommend patience when dealing with the aftermath, but in some cases there is no doubt about what to do.  Below is a severely damaged impatiens plant that was happily growing and blooming in a pot on our patio. In it’s shady spot on the north side of our home, it survived last year’s winter temps and summer’s scorching heat; but even covered with a blanket, 16 degrees took its life and it has been laid to rest in our compost bin.

Severely damaged annual

 On the other hand, our snapdragons, pansies, and sweet alyssum are still lovely.

Winter Hardy Annuals

While other garden plants need some attention.

Just a little Snip will do the trick.

Decisions on what to do become less obvious with woody plants like shrubs and trees.  Plants that go dormant with freezing weather, like lantana, bird of paradise, and bougainvillea can be cut back or left until late February or early March.  But this lysoloma tree must be placed in the “wait and see” category.

Damaged Lysloloma

 So far, all is well.

Alive and Well in Spring

The Cape plunbago shrubs in our garden tell a different story.  I could leave them alone, but they look so nasty.

 There are some things that actually improve with a severe cutback, and these qualify.

Damaged plumbago

Sadly, citrus is not happy when it is frozen.  In theory, I will classify the once-lovely focal point of our back garden in the “wait-and-see” category, but I am already planning what to do with this prime planting space.

Freeze Damage on the Arizona Sweet

Here is an example of why patience is vital!

feathery cassia ready to bloom

 Gardening is one of those hobbies that helps build character.  To be successful, one needs to cultivate patience, hope, and faith. In other situations, courage and perseverance, are required, because Mother Nature often demands the last word!

Talking with Mother Nature

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Sheila Menendez
    February 17, 2013 3:39 pm

    What a lovely and informative post – still in the conversation indeed, I’d say you are in the SPOTLIGHT! Great advice and lovely garden photo. Sometimes I miss the SouthWest – in the midst of winter here in NC – until Spring, then I don’t miss a thing!

    • stepintoourgarden
      February 23, 2013 4:17 pm

      Thanks Sheila!

      Yep, it is a beautiful place to live – until summer, then autumn arrives and we’re happy again!