The Q&A Archives: Winter Damage

Question: I live in the foothills of Northern California. We just got 2 inches of snow and freezing temperatures. My night blooming jasmine and mums have taken a beating. When and how do I prune them?

Answer: Unusually cold weather can take a toll on hardy garden plants, and completely kill really tender plants. Your jasmine and mums may have lost their foliage, but the roots should be okay. Cut the dead and damaged foliage off the plant, cutting back to the ground if necessary. Then place a few inches of organic mulch material over the root areas of the plants. In the spring, when the weather warms, brush the mulch away to allow the new sprouts to grow. If the snow and freezing temperatures were short-lived, the plants probably won't suffer permanent damage. If frost or snow is forecast again, you can temporarily cover your most vulnerable plants to keep them from becoming excessively damaged.

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