Time to Cut Back

“Time to Cut Back”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Today, was a lovely, sun-shinning day. It has been a long time since we have had mild temperatures and sunshine. Even though I had the day off from work, I was unable to work in the garden which means it will be the weekend before I can get out and cut back freeze damaged plant material.

Right now, I am only going to cut back the mushy parts of plants. Everything else will wait until it gets warmer. In the past, for example, I have cut back the Mexican Bush Sage stalks that had died in freezing weather, only to find later on that those stalks evidently helped protect the crown of the plant. After that first time of losing one of my favorite sages to cutting back too early, I have always waited until all cold weather is gone, and every year those perennials have sent out shoots from the base and lived.

There are several plants that seem crispy dead, and some that are mushy dead. It is time to cut back the mushy ones; the crispies can wait. The agapanthus and crinum plants need to be cut back. At least the agapanthus still has some leaves that are okay, and I don’t think you can kill a crinum, but the mushy leaves have to go.


Freeze Damaged Agapanthus


Freeze Damaged Crinums



  1. Phillip said,

    January 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    We had a nice sunny day here too. I cut back the dead stalks of my Angel’s Trumpet. I was worried about it but I saw green at the bottom.

  2. January 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Sad to see the cold damage but I am sure all will be well from your thoughtful care. ;>)

  3. January 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    aw, the frost damaged plants look so mournful. Here’s hoping they make a complete recovery after you cut them back.

  4. fairegarden said,

    January 19, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I hope they all return for you, Jan. Hard to know until spring comes. We are cutting stuff back here as well, but it is the normally dormant, not freeze mushed tropicals. How about a good layer of mulch to cover and protect what is left?

  5. Janet said,

    January 19, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Tis the season. I need to do the same.

  6. donna said,

    January 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Cleaning up the mushy ones…..not a pleasant chore.

    A warm sunny day, now that’s a good thing.


  7. Nancy Bond said,

    January 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I echo Jodi’s sentiments — I hope you have minimal, permanent damage. It’s a lovely day here in Nova Scotia today…you can almost believe that Spring isn’t far ahead of us. 🙂

  8. Lana said,

    January 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    How’s the garlic smell going? <:\

  9. January 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Some of my crinum look like yours, Jan – they’ve come back from freezing in other years so hope our bulbs can rebound in 2010.

    The creepiest frozen plants here were some aloes – inside turned to liquid and started slowly leaking out.

    I hope the cold snaps from now on are just the normal variety!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: