This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

March 15, 2013

The worst tree and flower for frost damage in Phoenix

The worst tree for frost damage is the ficus and the worst flowering plant is the bougainvillea. If you have these on your property now, chances are they look terrible. And they will look terrible every time we get a frost. Get rid of them now.

• Ficus. Beautiful trees, dense canopy, but most of them around town, including the gigantic one next door to me, are now a mass of brown leaves that will all fall off. Smaller ones will die. Don't plant ficus. Instead, plant an olive tree, or a mesquite. I have two olive trees here at The Tropical Paradise and they don't show a trace of frost damage. Nowadays you can get them as fruitless, which is the best way to go. And if I could go back twenty years, I would have planted a mesquite. Beautiful, soft, feathery leaves, the kind of dappled shade that plants do so well under, and, of course, no damage from frost.

• Bougainvillea. I had one of these in the front courtyard for years. But when the temperature cooled off, it was a mess. And I shed a lot of blood trimming it. Finally I had enough and chopped it to the ground. There are so many other flowers that are available that I won't even try to list them here.

So, if you're considering getting rid of these plants, do so now. There is no reason to get frustrated and pour a bunch of concrete, get a bunch of colored gravel, or plant some ugly, spiny cactus. There are many other choices available to you.

Post a Comment