Ask a Question forum: Is it dead?

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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Dec 17, 2017 1:36 PM CST
I bought 2 Calibrachoa plants this summer. Both were planted in my front yard. This is not the first time I've had these plants in the same area. I consider them annuals since they always die when cold weather hits.

So why do I have one that looks like this?

Thumb of 2017-12-17/bxncbx/83f96a
We have had 3 snowfalls (which all melted quickly) & multiple days/nights of temperatures in the 20s or lower. Is this plant dead & just looks alive?

The other plant is mostly dead but it was planted under a tree & may have succumbed to lack of water.

Has anyone else with cold winters had a Calibrachoa survive the winter? The plant looks better now than it did in the summer! The only mulch it has are pine needles that fell from the tree.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Dec 17, 2017 5:29 PM CST
LOL, it sure doesn't look dead to me or anywhere near expiring! I'd say that's one very happy, yet ... very confused Calibrachoa plant! Green Grin!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 17, 2017 7:35 PM CST
Calibrachoa is a Zone 9-11 plant so it is remarkable that yours has survived thus far. However, I am sure it will not survive a NYC winter outdoors.
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Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
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bxncbx
Dec 17, 2017 9:46 PM CST
I can't imagine it surviving either. Even the snapdragons are looking pitiful & they reliably come back. But having already survived numerous hard freezes I'm beginning to think I shouldn't bet against it. Especially if we keep getting so much snow.
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
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Zuni
Dec 18, 2017 12:10 AM CST
The walking dead plant! LOL. I don't think it can fake it that well. Maybe it's in a warm soil spot? Any composting manure under it, keeping the soil warm? Very cool, anyway :-)
[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 18, 2017 12:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Dec 18, 2017 12:34 AM CST
typically when a healthy plant freezes for the first time it looks just like it did alive- the damage becomes clear only when it defrosts-
If you pull this plant now, most of the leaves would have be debrided when the plant thaws, they will clearly be dead, you'd have bare stems, watering would be difficult-

If this plant has meaning, you can recover the root stock and some of the stems to grow back but it would be a long haul. Does it matter? Its not even officially winter yet - that's a long recovery for a severely frost burned patient-
Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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tofitropic
Dec 18, 2017 1:18 AM CST
are you sure that's a calibrachoea, in my screen it is not clear, (or my eyes..LOL)... is there any possible that this is a more hardy plant, let say an iberis?... just a thought..
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener Spiders! Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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bxncbx
Dec 18, 2017 8:17 AM CST
Okay,today and tomorrow are all going to be significantly above freezing. The plant has no compost under it but it is planted fairly close to the house which would give it some extra heat. But it doesn't get a lot of full sun where it is. The daylilies planted next to it have all died back or have just a couple of pale green leaves left.

It is definitely a Calibrachoa. It bloomed this summer (not well since it didn't get enough sun) and had pretty pink flowers. The plant has no particular meaning for me so I'm not going to dig it up and bring it inside. I'm already overwintering several perennials and space is going to be tight.

I checked the leaves this morning. There is definitely some frost damage (2 stems are dead and many leaves on the lower part of several stems are dead. But the upper leaves felt just fine-soft and pliable. The stems still bend and from what I can tell they feel just the same as they did this summer.

This is the weirdest plant. The top couple of inches of ground were definitely frozen solid this past week so this plant should be dead! At the very least all the top leaves should have frost damage so why are only the bottom ones showing it?

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