University of Florida

Treating Cold-Damaged Plants

January and February are the coldest months in Florida, and plants can be damaged by low temperatures. But with your help, cold-damaged plants can often recover.
After a freeze, see if your plants are dry. Even injured plants need water. Don't prune cold-damaged plants right away. The dead foliage looks bad, but will help insulate plants from further injury.

In the spring, assess the extent of the damage by scraping the bark with your fingernail. Cold-injured wood will be black or brown under the bark.

To be certain where to prune, wait until plants begin to sprout new growth. Once the danger of frost has passed, an application of fertilizer can help speed recovery.


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