How To Repair Plant Damage After Winter

Unless plants are extremely hardy it is likely that they will suffer some damage from frost and snow during the winter months. Some plant damage may be slight and need no attention, but some may be more extensive and require remedial action to be taken. To help you decide which is which this article by Andy McIndoe which I found on the Learning With Experts website reviews things to look for and what action you should take.

Winter wet, especially if it is followed by frost, takes its toll on the many of the plants in your garden. For some of us gardens are waterlogged and the mild weather has resulted in soft growth. Some plants have never really got into winter mode and spring shrubs are even starting to flower. Evergreens in particular have sustained damage, and plants that are normally quite hardy seem to have suffered more, despite warmer temperatures. Here?s a review of things to look out for and action you should take.
2 Frosted tips of cistus (1024x683)
Some damage is purely superficial and regrowth will follow in time, so don?t be too impatient. Evergreens such as cistus, pittosporums and some of the small and narrow leaved hebes are often damaged at the growth tips leaving, the stems and foliage beneath relatively unscathed. Wait until mid-spring before you wield the secateurs and then prune out the damage. A good mulch with garden compost and an application of a slow release fertiliser will encourage a flush of new growth that will quickly cover the damage in a month or so. If the weather turns cold again protect the plant with some horticultural fleece tied loosely over the top of the plant.
3 Damaged choisya (1024x683)
Choisyas are often damaged at the tips of the shoots. So these should be cut out around mid-spring when the days are a little longer. Rather than just cutting back the tips try to take older damaged shoots back into the shrub to encourage re-growth from lower down. This will avoid all new growth on the outside and a hollow centre. The yellow leaved varieties always look sick after cold wet winter weather. The leaves are bleached and white and often brown at the tips. Healthy golden growth will follow as soon as you snip out the damage.

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