Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

January 8, 2015

Dealing with frost damage on Natal Plum in Phoenix, Arizona

If your Natal Plum got damaged by the recent frost, there's a good chance that it will be all right. But it depends on what you do now. What you should do now is nothing. Nothing. Don't touch it. Leave it alone. Yes, wait a little bit, a few more days.

Yeah, I know it looks sad, and you want to rush out there and trim off the frost-damaged leaves, but resist the impulse. Relax, go do something else. Don't look at it for a few days. Watch something on Netflix, play with the dog, go play the piano. Just leave the plant alone.

That's because the top layer is protecting the layer below it. If you immediately go out there and trim, you will be revealing the tender growth beneath it to more damage. So leave it alone for a while.

Once the weather has warmed up beyond any possible chance of frost damage (no less than 40 degrees at night) you can trim. Unless it's all completely toasted and brown, it will grow back. Give it a nice drink of water with Miracle-Gro and wait for warmer weather. In Phoenix, you won't have long to wait!
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