The Q&A Archives: Frozen Greenhouse Annuals

Question: During a terrible winter storm last weekend, my greenhouse plastic tore and fell down. All of my annuals inside were frozen to the point of their leaves just snapping off. I brought them inside, but now they are drooping terribly. Is there anything that I can do to help them survive?

Answer: How disheartening! Depending on how cold the plants actually were and for how long, and depending on what types you are growing, and depending on how healthy and how conditioned they were prior to their exposure, it is possible that some of them may come back. Once they recover from the shock, they may regrow quite well because their roots are already established. This is particularly true for cold hardy annuals such as pansies, for half-hardy perennials grown as annuals, and for some of the heat loving shrubs and vines grown as annuals in cold winter areas. Immediately remove any material that turned black and/or slimy, and remove any other badly damaged bits as they become apparent. Provide the best growing conditions you can and water a bit lightly at first to compensate for the lost top growth. Good luck with your plants.

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