Video: Polar Vortex harming some plants

Monday, Jan. 13, 2014

       

 

MANHATTAN -- The Polar Vortex has moved on, but it’s left behind some damage that you may not notice until spring.

Kansas State University horticulturist Ward Upham says most plants won’t be harmed by the extreme cold and snow. However, you should keep your on eye on some, especially plants with fruit. Peach trees and thornless blackberry plants are sensitive to the extreme cold. Although the plants will survive this blast of below-average temperatures, the buds may not. Upham says losing some peach buds is actually a good thing because it reduces the number of fruit on the tree, helping other peach buds to grow full-size. However, losing buds for thornless blackberries just means less fruit.

"We won’t lose the plants, but we may lose the fruiting canes and so we won't get any fruit this year," Upham said. “We would get fruit next year as long as we don’t have a repeat of the weather.”

Other plants like evergreens and boxwood shrubs may have a few more brown leaves than usual but will be fine. Shrub roses won’t be hurt, but hybrid tea roses are more sensitive and may have damage. Upham says you will know by spring if your plants survived the cold.

 “Wait until March because you’re sure then of what’s dead and what isn’t and then you can cut anything off that’s dead,” Upham said.

Most plants have hardened off by October so they won’t receive damage from the bitter cold.

photo credit: juggzy_malone via photopincc

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Written by

Lindsey Elliott
785-532-1546
lindseye@k-state.edu

At a glance

Certain types of plants may not bloom this Spring because of the extreme cold from the Polar Vortex.