The Q&A Archives: Frost Damage

Question: My Bird of Paradise was frost bitten, do I cut it back? And when is a good time to do that?

Answer: Bird of Paradise is a tropical plant that can recover slowly from extremely cold weather. If the temperature stayed above 28F degrees, your plant should be okay. If the weather stayed cold for an extended length of time, the roots may have been damaged, and the plant may not recover at all. Remove the damaged foliage now by cutting it off at ground level. Mulch over the top of the plant to protect it. New foliage should appear in the spring, followed by flowering stems. If the plant doesn't flower the first season, it may just need additional time to recover. If new foliage doesn't sprout, the roots were affected by cold temperatures and the plant should be replaced. Let's hope for the best!

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