In December, many parts of the South experienced temperatures well below average, some even dipping below freezing for a few days. This artic blast wreaked havoc on many a home and business in the form of frozen and burst pipes. The repairs and costs for those damages were immediate and extensive.

The damage to our plants, however, will be realized over the coming months as the winter season ends and soil temperatures rise. Even a short drive around the block will reveal the numerous varieties of trees and bushes whose leaves have turned brown and dry, particularly broadleaf evergreens.

Experts caution against any immediate action for these plants. Waiting until the mercury rises may give your cold shocked plants a chance to begin anew, but the key is to pay close attention  and search for signs of new growth. At that time, you may trim away dead/severely damaged areas. Some even suggest a slow release fertilizer in spring to help stimulate growth.

Be sure to take extra care with cold damaged plants this winter and spring season and consult an expert if you’re unsure of the extent of the damage and next steps.