What a surprise we got when winter weather hit the Lowcountry to start out the year.
Freezing cold temperatures stayed here for six days, with the lows in the low 20’s every night.
Most of our plants can handle these temperatures, but we do have some palms and certain plants that might be damaged by the freezing temperatures.
Most of the damage will be just to the foliage that is there now.
That foliage will drop off in the next month or two, and new growth should appear this spring.
I would recommend to leave the damaged foliage on the plants until late March or early April.
Trimming the foliage off now might cause the plant to generate new growth – which would get damaged by our next round of cold weather.
According to the Farmers Almanac and other sources, we might have more snow and cold weather in mid-February, and we always get frost in March.
Perennials that have turned brown from the cold weather, such as lantana and Mexican heather, can be cut back and covered with mulch. They will come back when the soil temperatures warm up this spring.
Most of our lawns are dormant now from the cold weather, as they generally are at this time of year.
Watering lawns and plants is normally not necessary now in any case, and normally will cause more harm than good.
If you did not apply a pre-emergent this fall, you might have poa annua, an annual grass that looks like rye, coming up.
It can be controlled with Atrazine, or it will die out in spring when the temperatures get in the 80s.
Starting in February, it will be time to put out your spring pre-emergent with potash (fertilizer) for root growth, but do not apply fertilizer (nitrogen) yet.
It would be better to wait until late March or April for nitrogen to be applied for green up.
Mark DeLoach is the owner of Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County. LawnDoctor.com