Texas Gardening forum: Winter cleanup

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College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 14, 2017 7:06 PM CST
I started cutting back after the big freeze a few weeks ago. Stuff like the dwarf ruellia no problem. Probably couldn't hurt it if I tried. But I have a bunch of mushy leaves on some kind of giant white spider lily plant. Should I leave them until later, or get them away from the plant? Same with amaryllis. When does everyone cut back ornamental grasses ( pennisetum fireworks) I also have some salvias like Wendy's Wish that have bare stems. last winter was so mild I am not sure if I can start cutting back now or should leave them
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Jan 15, 2017 12:54 PM CST
It is hard to be patient while I wait for spring but I always leave the foliage on the plants. I think it helps to protect the roots/bulbs from further cold. On some plants there is a risk of rot when the damaged material is removed. I don't grow some of your mentioned plants but I know Lantana roots will rot if they are cut back too early in winter by water transfer through the hollow stems. I'd think it best to be patient.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 15, 2017 3:42 PM CST
So hard to be patient. I am most confused by the mushy fleshy leaves on the giant spider lily .. it is just like an amaryllis with fleshy leaves that are a total mess.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
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pod
Jan 15, 2017 4:53 PM CST
I don't have that one but have three different Crinums. They have melted from the freeze like your spider lily. In years past, the bulbs will develop new growth nearer to springtime. I leave the foliage alone until it dries and crumbles. I do that just in case removing the soft foliage would allow cold or moisture to get down to the bulb and generate rot. Just my guess but it has worked for me over the years. Shrug! Hopefully others will weigh in on this.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Jan 15, 2017 7:51 PM CST
My crinums are in really big pots. Some of their leaves had been yellowing before the snow and afterwards it was all a bunch of mush. I did remove most and later all of the leaves. A few weeks later I feared the worst so I reached as deep as I could and the bulbs felt fine. Thought maybe I should separate the smaller bulbs but they were holding fast to the mother bulb. So I threw some mulched leaves over them and let them be. Guess I'll know when spring comes if all is well.
If your bulbs are in the ground they should be fine. Don't know if mushy leaves matter.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Jan 15, 2017 8:33 PM CST

Moderator

I think @pod is right about leaving the mushy leaves for a while.

Our neighbors have the TX Spider Lilies (Hymenocallis liriosme) in a bed in front of their house. They were all zapped by our two 20 degree nights a couple of weeks ago. They are mushy, but I did notice very small strapy leaves emerging already from the mush mess.

I would wait and see if we get anymore hard freezes. The mushy ones may give a little protection to the new leaves.
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 15, 2017 9:07 PM CST
Thanks all. Fortunately the bulbs are not a place I have to look at a lot. So I will be patient and wait no matter how ugly it s right now..I do see some small parts at top that look like healthy leaves on the way.what about ornamental grasses? Leave them alone too?
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Jan 17, 2017 1:27 AM CST
Very interesting. When I ventured outside today I saw that some leaves from paperwhites were all mushy. I think that's especially weird since people, myself included except not this year, grow paperwhites inside in water. Well, not exactly in water. Just the roots.

I don't know what goes on in my yard when my back is turned. Somehow I've lost a lovely little Hellebore that I didn't have time to put in the ground before the rain started.

Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Jan 17, 2017 6:43 AM CST
tx_flower_child said: I saw that some leaves from paperwhites were all mushy.


That is weird! My paperwhites (Narcissus) are shooting up with fresh foliage and bloom stalks. We had two nights at 13 degrees yet I've never seen the Narcissus foliage melt. Interesting. Confused
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Jan 17, 2017 1:55 PM CST

Moderator

@teacup754 Here's a couple of pics from the neighbors' spider lillies. I referenced them in a post above. You can see the new growth peeking out of the mushy stuff (my scientific explanation Whistling )


Thumb of 2017-01-17/Bubbles/c8de6c


Thumb of 2017-01-17/Bubbles/9cd013

College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Jan 17, 2017 6:00 PM CST
Yes @Bubbles mine are that ugly. Fortunately the rain has kept me indoors so I don't see it..I don't think the green is as much, but definitely there.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Jan 19, 2017 3:35 AM CST
@pod - Like I said, it was weird. And like you, I'm confused. Most of the leaves are fine but some are so dang mushy that it's creepy. Haven't been out to further inspect because it's been raining or drizzling or just plain 'meh'. Supposed to get some sunshine now and I'll go take another look see.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 19, 2017 7:49 PM CST
It's hard not to touch them. Here's an article from our local garden guy who says if it's mush cut it back. Then if there is a freeze after that, really take care to protect them. But in general, leave things as they are for future freeze protection. Agree or disagree? I can't stand the Dead Look in my yard! Then aagain, all the City medians plants have been cut back to the ground?? What To do?

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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
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tx_flower_child
Jan 19, 2017 11:30 PM CST
I took a few pictures this evening of my paperwhites. The mush is just lovely. And after reading the link provided by @ShadyGreenThumb, it makes my want to snip those creepies off.

Here's the history of my bulbs. Skip if you prefer b/c I'll never know.
I have a mix of bulbs that might be growing in the same pots. Last winter I grew some inside with success and some without much success. Given that it's hard to know when fall turns to winter and winter turns to spring around here, I might have given up on some too quickly. So anyway, I had some pots outside that had good soil but nothing planted in them. I just threw bulbs at 'em and to my surprise I saw some green. About the time that the weather was really rainy but not yet freezing, I decided to further experiment and put the pots in my garage. Forgot they were there until a few weeks ago. (I rarely dare to enter my garage.) So I see all of this greenery and decide to take the pots back outside. I think the weather turned bad again.

Ok. Let me see if I can upload some pictures.


Thumb of 2017-01-20/tx_flower_child/adac10

Sorry. Could only upload one. I wanted to show how not all the leaves in the same pot and possibly from the same bulb were mushy. And in an adjoining pot there was no mush at all. Guess it's just the wild and wonderful world of Mother Nature.

Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Composter Butterflies Bookworm Bluebonnets Daylilies
Native Plants and Wildflowers Amaryllis Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Clematis Plant and/or Seed Trader
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piksihk
Mar 15, 2018 8:00 AM CST
Searching for answers and found this from last year.

Several of the giant spider lilies still have green leaves but others have turned to mush and already fallen off the bulbs. Left with 3-5 inches of mushy stem still attached to bulbs.
Question - should I trim off the mushy part? The bulbs itself feel hard.



While the earth remains, Seed time and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease. Gen. 8:22
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
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teacup754
Mar 15, 2018 8:45 AM CST
@piksihk
Same situation with me. Some mushy and no leaves to be seen right next to new leaves on a different bulb. I hope someone with experience can answer.
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 15, 2018 11:31 AM CST
I'm seeing that with some day lilies. Note I said 'seeing'. Haven't yet reached my hand in the dirt to feel if those bulbs really are pure mush. Eew ick.

My agapanthus is definitely mush. But that will free up a small spot for something that's native.

I do want to follow along here to see what answers appear.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Winter Sowing Cat Lover Dog Lover Vermiculture Birds Bulbs
Canning and food preservation Butterflies Composter Bromeliad Bookworm Greenhouse
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pod
Mar 15, 2018 11:01 PM CST
My thoughts have always been to leave the mushy foliage on and let it dry. When the damage is brittle I remove it.

I would be afraid that removing it before it dries could cause rot to wipe out the whole bulb. My experience is primarily Crinums.
Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
College Station,TX
zone 8
Hummingbirder Region: Texas Roses Butterflies Echinacea
Image
teacup754
Mar 16, 2018 8:16 AM CST
pod said:My thoughts have always been to leave the mushy foliage on and let it dry. When the damage is brittle I remove it.

I would be afraid that removing it before it dries could cause rot to wipe out the whole bulb. My experience is primarily Crinums.


Fortunately the bulbs are on the other side of the yard from my patio, so I only see them when I'm walking around. Sounds like a good idea to just leave it. Thanks!
Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Composter Butterflies Bookworm Bluebonnets Daylilies
Native Plants and Wildflowers Amaryllis Cottage Gardener Container Gardener Clematis Plant and/or Seed Trader
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piksihk
Mar 16, 2018 11:27 AM CST
Here's a photo of the bulbs - I dug them up hoping they will dry out - the very top of the stem feels mushy but the stem just above bulb is firm.
Thumb of 2018-03-16/piksihk/800f66

While the earth remains, Seed time and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease. Gen. 8:22

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