Amelia Prepares for Spring Landscaping

By: Lawrence Mackie

It is time to think about your Fernandina Beach landscape and garden even though we are still not quite out of the potential freeze risk here in Northeast Florida; but we are getting very close. This means it is time to see what kind of damage your landscape plants received and plan your course of action. You do not want to start trimming back your freeze damaged plants yet, but you can determine the extent of their problem.

Most of your perennial type plants should rebound and come back from the roots or below where they were damaged. Hibiscus, oleanders, elephant ears, and similar plants may have lost a portion of the top of the plant, but not all the way to the ground. Try to force yourself to wait until they start to put new growth on and plan to trim right above the new growth. If you must trim them prior to March 21st or so, then trim a small amount at a time until you get to green wood and stop there! If you had planned on doing a major overhaul this year, then feel free to trim to your heart’s desire.

Some perennials like impatiens, periwinkle, lantana and heather will come back from the roots and seeds that have fallen off the flowers onto the ground. These can all be trimmed almost to the ground for maximum rebound. Your more cold-sensitive palm trees that have received severe cold damage to the fronds may require extreme trimming of all fronds once the threat of cold weather is over.

I would not do anything to these until you can determine if they are coming back with new fronds or the old ones will rebound. The best thing to do is wait until the beginning of spring to do anything, but take the next warm day we have and get out there and look around to see what might need to be done.

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