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Freezing: how dead is dead


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#1 rjacobs

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:24 PM

So here is my long saga in short form:

I got a new job that required me to be away from home for 2.5 months.  I just got back tonight.  My "friend" that was supposed to come cut all my plants back, dig them out, re-pot them, put them in my grow tent, etc... before the first freeze completely and utterly FAILED on all counts.  So all of my pepper plants have been outside here in Dallas during the cold weather.  I believe things were below freezing for 2-3 days in early December and then maybe again for 2-3 days later in the month and now for 3-4 days.  Its dark out now so I didnt get a great look at them.  They are in raised beds so its a good chance the roots froze.

 

I can obviously tell that higher up, thinner branches are dead.  Lower down on the thicker parts of the "trunks" do not look dead like higher up does.

 

What are the chances I can cut everything back, dig them out, re-pot, bring them inside to good conditions, and they will come back?

 

I know chances are slim to probably non-existent and I am going to get new seeds started tomorrow for everything(well almost everything), but give me SOME hope...



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#2 moruga welder

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:36 PM

probably cooked !     



#3 grover

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:53 PM

It only took 1 night of below freezing temps to kill all of my plants. I was a little late this year in getting the keepers moved inside (either that, or the freeze came too early.) The only plants that survived were ones that were covered and leaning up against the side of the house.

 

As an experiment I placed a fabric cover over some of the plants to see if they could survive. I'm afraid to look under it right now, but I'm hoping for the best.



#4 Jamison

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:05 PM

Honestly I've had plants survive a frost or two.  There's probably a good chance you could get them to pull through.  Pics would help us to understand the damage done. 



#5 rjacobs

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:30 PM

I already, 4 weeks ago, resigned myself to the fact that they were dead.

 

Ill get some pics in the morning.

 

2 years...down the drain.

 

At least I know not to waste my time on the BOC's again, they were gross.  Im going to double up on the Jay's Peach Ghost.



#6 CAPCOM

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 12:13 AM

Honestly I've had plants survive a frost or two.  There's probably a good chance you could get them to pull through.  Pics would help us to understand the damage done. 


I concur with^^^.
I have had many plants go through several HARD frosts and still not only retain leaves but continue to flower.

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#7 D3monic

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 01:37 AM

BOC being gross, Think that's the first i've heard that one. 


Dude....f**k your Demonic goat right in the ass. That thing lit my ass up worse than the red brainstrain I had earlier this year. It started out bitter, then went to straight up rape my face heat.


#8 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 08:39 AM

This isn't about peppers but list other plants and may help others. The biggest thing I would take from this is don't prune too early. The temps will be back to normal in a few days and that's when I would dig them up but try to cover them if it freezes again before it warms up.

 

By Dan Gill

LSU AgCenter Horticulturist

 

Although winter temperatures in Louisiana are generally relatively mild, they are punctuated by periods of moderate to severe freezes. Freezing weather is often followed by extended periods when temperatures stay above freezing.

 

Prior to a major freeze, most gardeners will make an effort to protect tender tropical plants in their landscape. So what should be done for the landscape after a freezing episode is over? Here’s some general information on what to do and not do.

 

Plants in pots

 

Any container plants that were brought inside for protection may be moved back to their location outside unless you intend to keep them inside all winter. If you will keep them inside, make sure they are close to windows and receive plenty of light. You cannot keep plants inside dark garages or storage sheds for extended periods of time. Plants must have light to create the food they need to live, and they will slowly starve if not provided enough light.

 

Covered plants

 

Many gardeners use a variety of covers to protect plants from freezing temperatures. Remove or vent clear plastic covers on plants to prevent excessive heat buildup if the next day is sunny and mild. The plastic will let in light and trap the heat, just like your car with the windows rolled up. You do not need to completely remove the cover if a freeze is expected again the next night. Plants covered with blankets, tarps, opaque plastic or fabric sheets may be left covered for several days without harming them, but eventually the cover will need to be removed so they can get light.

 

Pruning damaged plants

 

Even though you may see damage immediately, do not prune anything for a few days to a week after a freeze. It often takes several days for all damage to be apparent.

 

Damaged growth on herbaceous or non-woody plants, such as cannas, elephant ears, agapanthus, amaryllis, birds-of-paradise, begonias, impatiens, philodendron and gingers, may be pruned back to living tissue. This pruning is optional but does help keep the winter garden looking neat. Damaged tissue that is oozy, mushy, slimy and foul smelling should be removed. This decaying tissue is unhealthy for the plant.

 

Remove the damaged foliage from banana trees, but do not cut back the trunk unless you are sure it has been killed. It will look brown, feel mushy, be loose in the soil and bleed if punctured. If it’s alive, allowing the trunk to remain increases the chances of fruit production next summer.

 

Dead leaves on woody tropical plants, such as hibiscus, croton, ixora, cassia, bougainvillea and copper plant, can be picked off to make things look neater. If you can clearly determine which branches are dead, you may prune them back. Try scratching the bark with your thumbnail. If the tissue underneath is green, it’s still alive. If the tissue is tan or brown, the branch is dead. Start at the top and work your way down to see how far back the plant was killed.

 

This pruning is optional and will not help the plant deal with the damage. Generally, it’s a better idea to delay hard pruning of woody plants until new growth begins in the spring. Then you can more accurately determine which parts have survived the winter and what is dead. Living parts will send out new growth.

 

Another group of plants that are generally severely damaged or killed by freezes are tender perennial bedding plants such as impatiens, wax begonias, pentas, blue daze, scaevola, periwinkle and coleus. Although it’s nice when they make it through mild winters and provide another year of flowers in our landscape, we must remember these plants are not intended to be permanent.

 

If, or when, plants have been killed by sub-freezing temperatures, remove the dead plants from the bed and mulch the area to keep it looking neat. You could also prepare the bed and plant hardy cool-season bedding plants, such as pansies, dianthus, alyssum, snapdragons or many others, anytime now through early March for an outstanding display this spring.

 

Remember, there is still plenty of time to see additional – and possibly more severe – freezes before it’s all over. Protect what you can when needed. Don’t be too quick to dig up and remove tropical plants that have been severely damaged and appear to be dead. Sometimes, they may eventually resprout from the base of the plant or the roots in April or May. Despite what comes, remember that our climate encourages rapid growth and recovery.

 

If worse comes to worse and you do lose some of the tender plants and tropicals in your garden, don’t think of it as a tragedy but as an opportunity. How many of us have filled every square inch of planting space in our gardens, reducing our chances to purchase and plant new types of plants we want to try? When the dead plants are removed, we will have open areas available. Think about that, and the loss might not seem so bad.



#9 rjacobs

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 04:03 PM

BOC being gross, Think that's the first i've heard that one. 

 

none of the ones we ate tasted very good.  People preferred the reaper over it and the overall winner was the Jays Peach by a long shot.

 

I would like to work a chocolate variety in this year(and hopefully beyond) just not sure what.



#10 BearDown

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:12 AM

Keep the faith! Don't give up on them, hopefully they'll make it. Definitely bring them inside though.



#11 rjacobs

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:46 AM

Here is the main trunk of the reaper plants.

 

20170109_103529.jpg

 

Branches that all look dead

20170109_103544.jpg

 

I cut back one plant completely as I really have nothing to lose and this was the inside of the main lower stems as they branch off the trunk.

20170109_103850.jpg

 

 

All of the bark on every plant was loose and cracked.  I pulled it off of one plant and things dont look too bad, but honestly I have no real clue what I am looking at.



#12 Rajun Gardener

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 11:56 AM

They look like they've been dead for a while. You should be able to see some green when you prune it back and I see none so your boy let them die a while back. It was probably the last freeze a few weeks ago.



#13 rjacobs

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:08 PM

They look like they've been dead for a while. You should be able to see some green when you prune it back and I see none so your boy let them die a while back. It was probably the last freeze a few weeks ago.

 

like I said earlier, I figured as such, but you know how it is, gotta see if there is any hope.

 

Ive already got new seeds going in the starter.



#14 Chewi

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 02:03 PM

yeah  it was in the teens.....even my Tepin died and that thing lived outside for two winters.



#15 FlameThrower

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 02:08 AM

FYI, the morning of your first post it got down to 12-13 degrees with a windchill of around 1 degree in the DFW area. It also got down into the mid-teens in December, as well.  I'm guessing they fried. :(

 

Although I must admit, I've seen some pretty incredible things.  I once had a moruga plant that I left in the garage in a pot over the winter (just got lazy).  It never got light unless I opened the garage door and it never was watered.  When spring hit, and the humidity went up, it tried putting out "green".  Craziest thing I'd ever seen.  I also did the same thing a couple of years ago, but I left another chinense (can't remember what kind) on my covered patio over the winter where it got continuous shade and I never watered it.  I thought it was dead until a week or two before I was going to start planting my next season's seeds, it decides to start producing leaves.  I ended up trimming most of the dead branches off and letting it grow.  It grew kinda squashed/stunted, but it produced a few peppers.



#16 solid7

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:11 AM

Yes, that plant has given up the ghost.  How dead is dead?  Yours is a textbook example.  Sorry.


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#17 Pr0digal_son

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:45 AM

I already, 4 weeks ago, resigned myself to the fact that they were dead.
 
Ill get some pics in the morning.
 
2 years...down the drain.
 
At least I know not to waste my time on the BOC's again, they were gross.  Im going to double up on the Jay's Peach Ghost.


Grow some C.flexuosum,they will survive your winters. Probably even flower all year down there.




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