The Q&A Archives: Cold Weather Damage

Question: I placed my ferns in an unheated building after it turned cold in the fall, where they could still receive plenty of light, but be protected from the cold. The plants are all in hanging baskets and they all were doing fine until we had an ice storm. Although the ferns still have a few green leaves, most of them are brown or very dark green. How do I care for them now and is there any hope of revivng them back to full size?

Answer: If there are still green leaves on your plants, the roots have probably survived the cold weather. Cut the dead foliage off, keep the soil moist, provide bright light and minimum temperatures of 50F throughout the winter months. In the spring, new leaves should sprout from the crown (center) of the plant. They will eventually grow lush again, but it will take several months to several seasons to accomplish this goal.

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