What is frost damage?
Frost damage is damage to evergreen garden plants. Very cold days in winter or later in the year can cause plants to dry out. This is because the roots are then in frozen soil and they cannot absorb water. Many garden plants that are moderately or not hardy have too little ‘antifreeze’ in the sap inside the plant. This juice freezes and the plant cells burst.
How does it look?
The damage to perennials is often not easy to see, only when the plant starts to sprout is it clear whether there is damage or not. The frost damage is often clearly visible from March onwards. It can often be seen earlier with evergreen potted plants, because – as the name suggests – they are actually green in winter. With these evergreen plants, the leaves have turned brown or there are black spots on the leaves. In addition, the leaf can be quite dull and the shine has disappeared. The bark loosens along the branches and slides off easily. You will see similar damage to the perennials from March onwards.
Can plants still be saved from frost damage?
Scratch off a piece of the bark of the frost-damaged garden plant. When the bark is still green, it means that there is life in the branch and the plant. The plant can still be saved. When the bark underneath is brown, the branch or plant is dead and unfortunately it can no longer be saved.
What should you do after discovering frost damage to garden plants?
It is best to wait until the months of May and June. Many plants can miraculously repair themselves from frost damage. The waiting is for new eyes on the garden plant on which they can sprout. It sometimes takes a few months before new shoots are made. After frost damage, plants run out of the last bit of moisture that is still present. It then seems as if the plant is still alive, but unfortunately it can still be dead after a few weeks.