About Central Florida Gardener

Welcome and thank you for visiting Central Florida Gardener. Florida is a unique state in which to garden. It can be frustrating but also rewarding for gardeners who persevere. This blog was created as a resource for Florida gardeners, both new and experienced, in search of information specifically for Florida gardens.

You are invited to participate by leaving your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations relevant to Florida gardening - don't be shy! Thank you for dropping by to learn more about gardening in the Sunshine state. I look forward to hearing from you! Susan

Friday, January 22, 2010

And the Survivors Are…

It’s been about two weeks since freezing temps dealt our plants a devastating blow. Enough time for us to see which plants made it and which ones didn’t. There’s not a lot to say about the plants that are brown and shriveled up, except that, given time they may recover once trimmed back. But don’t act too quickly…in this case, procrastination can be a good thing.

Here’s what a couple of experts have to say about what we should be doing right now:

Tom MacCubbin at Tom's Digs
Teresa Watkins at Earth Shattering Gardening blog

The best thing we can do is turn our attention to the future, and begin making plans to revamp our yards. In every “bad event” there’s always a silver lining. Our silver lining is the plants that braved the low temps and lived to bloom another day.

So, I’m looking for the “survivors.” And, as painful as it may be, I’m asking all of you to walk around your yard to see what perennials and colorful foliage plants survived.

Your participation is requested! Once you’ve done this, please either share your list of plants by adding a comment to this post, or create a post on your blog, and provide me with a link to it and I'll list it below. Together, we can create a list of hardy perennials and colorful foliage plants that will help all of us as we shop for new plants this spring.

Here are some posts I've found on plants that "survived" the frosty week.

The Dirt  -  Penny Carnathanis a co-writer for the Tampa Tribune in this blog.
Gardening in Peace - FloridaGirl in the Peace River area.
Simply Susan! - My list of "survivors."


The Rainforest Gardener said...

Great idea! I'm pretty sure everything except for my accidental coffee plant will survive, but these are what stayed green with no protection and only minimal damage:

Everglades Palm
Split leaf Philodendron
Giant Yucca
Cordyline australis "red sensation" is "everpurple" :)
Pineapple guava
Giant Crinum (a small plant)
Various Hollies
Chamaedorea Radicalis
Chamaedorea Microspadix

Not a long list because even my "hardy" plants had a rougher time than last year. I especially recommend the chamaedorea palms!

Ami said...

Here is the list in my zone 10 garden. Thanks for collecting this list!

Bromeliads (Aechmea blanchetiana 'Orangeade' , Neos)
Diamond Frost
Red Fountain Grass
dipladenia pink
Jatropha Tree
African Iris (fortnight lily)
Yellow African Iris (Nile of lily)
Purple Queen
Golden Shrimp

Kimberly said...

Love your idea! Here's my list:
Ponderosa Lemon
Meyer Lemon
Queen Emma Crinum Lily (some outer leaf damage only)
Yellow Carolina Jasmine
Ponytail Palm
Giant White Bird of Paradise (minimal protection i.e. next to house or privacy fence)
bougainvillea (minimal outer leaf damage only)
Daylily butterscotch
Jasmine (both star and orange)
ground orchid (with minimal protection from the house)
ferns (minimal structural protection)

Penlyn said...

I'm in Tampa, in northwest Hillsborough County, which is slightly warmer than eastern Hillsborough, but much colder than south Tampa (we're a real mish-mash of zones.) My yard looked blitzed, but I found some real surprises today when I started cleanup. (For more on that, check bit.ly/dirtblog) I also found plants I thought were dead are still very much alive.
I'm not including the ones I see already listed. Also, these were in the ground and not covered:
Pagoda clerodendron (can't recommend it enough for heat, cold, drought)
Knockout roses (they look good)
Jatropha (one of three looks good)
Butterfly cassia
Zebra aloe
In the ground and covered:
Various succulents including flapjacks (look good)
Crotons (look terrible)
The jury is still out on many, which I expect will come back from the roots. I was doubtful about that before today, but I saw lots more life than I expected. Yay life!

NanaK said...

This is a great post! I'm definitely looking for more cold hardy plants to add this year. My survivors: Bromeliads (neos of all types), bamboo (multiplex fernleaf), walking iris, azaleas, virburnum, liriope, juncas, red shrimp, rosemary.

Rainforest Gardenener - I'm on the look out for some chamaedorea microspadix, where did you get yours?

Meems said...

This is a great idea. I've got my eyes and ears open for cold hardy plants that can survive our freaky cold spells without being covered.

It is important to note the variations in zones these lists come from. AND learning our own gardens is important as micro-climates are plentiful within every Florida garden.

For instance my Selloum is mush in two locations while it is standing untouched in the 'back 40' densely planted under oaks.

Here's my list of unscathed plants that were NOT covered.
African Iris
Agastache Black Adder
Allium ‘alba’
Arboricola Variegata (some are burned on the tips but mostly okay)
Asiatic Jasmine ~~ variegated and evergreen
Belladonna Lilies
Black and Blue Salvia
Blue-eyed Grass
Bromeliads (did surprisingly well everywhere)
Butterfly Ginger
Butterfly Orchids
Candy Lily
Carolina Jessamine
Chocolate mint
Confederate Jasmine
Coral Bean
Coral Reef Sedum
Cordyline Chocolate Queen
Cordyline Red Sensation
English Ivy
False Blue Ginger
Flax Lily (the iron work horse in the garden)
Florida friendly gold sedum hybrid
Gaillardia (my new favorite~~ does well in heat and cold~~ can’t beat that!
Gama Grass
Holly Fern
Hurricane lilies
Indian Hawthorne
Juncus Grass
Liriopes (Giant and variegated)
Louisiana Iris
Mexican Petunia (too bad ~ wish it would freeze)
Muhly grass
Mystic Spires
Needle Palm
Oakleaf Hydrangea
Purple Queen
Rain Lilies
Raphis palms
Saw Palmetto
Shell Gingers (some were tinged but mostly they are fine)
Spaths (some leaves are burnt but mostly okay)
Verbena bonariensis
Walking Iris
Walters Viburnum ‘withlacoochee’

That's all I can think right now.

There are many others that were severely damage but will come back like the Hamelia patens.

Patti said...

Hi Sis...Here's what survived in my rural location.

holly fern (I'm planting more)
African iris
cast iron 'Peter Pan'
Brazilian Plume Flwr
antique roses
blackberry lily

Hildegard said...

I'm just north of Orlando and my "survivors" are:

Pandora's vine
blue sage
honeysuckle vine

Susan said...

A BIG thank you to all of you who shared your lists of "survivors." It looks like we have a lot of options to choose from. I will be putting a list together, and will publish it in an upcoming post...so stay tuned!

Floridagirl said...

We are in Zone 9, and a particularly cold pocket for this far south. I'm certain everything in my garden is alive, but this is the stuff that stayed green and lush:

Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)
Stiff Bottlebrush (Callistemon rigidus)
Yellow Tabebuia
Magnolia Grandiflora
Camellia (all)
Florida Cracker Rose (‘Louis Philippe’)
Thryallis (Shower-of-Gold)
Nandina (Heavenly Bamboo)
Viburnum (V. suspensum, V. odoratissimum)
Azalea 'Red Ruffles'
Bird’s Nest Fern
Rabbit's Foot Ferns
Sago Palms
Coontie Palm
Pindo Palm
Queen Palm
Pygmy Date Palms (3 of the 5)Indian Hawthorn
Orange Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
African Bush Daisies
Bromeliads (in shade)
African Irises

Susan said...

FloridaGirl...Thanks for participating. Our list is growing longer by the day.

Penlyn said...

After reading the lists, I see I failed to mention a couple of really good ones.
Like Meems, I am loving gallardia. I have lots of seedlings from last summer's plants and all did very well in the ground and uncovered (zone 9).
And rabbit's foot fern! Hanging in a basket under an eave, but otherwise unprotected and unscathed.
(Meems, my arboricola look like they've been under the broile for way too long.)
Looking forward to your final list Susan. Thanks for doing this! I think it's important to include zones, or at least cities of origin, for the reports on each plant. And I'll volunteer to help with that, if you want. The result will be really valuable. I would LOVE to have less guess work in my covering!

Betsy S. Franz said...

Wow, looks like most people had a lot more survivors than we did. Then again, I keep my eye on the plants that feed the critters, specifically the hummingbirds, and almost all of them look dead. The ones that didn't take a hit at all are the shrimp plants!

Other survivors:
wild coffee
azaleas (of course)
Simpson stopper
bird of paradise

I'm sure there are others but those are the ones that stand out in my mind. Fortuntely, the hummingbirds are sticking around the yard because of the feeders.