Tips to help keep frost damaged plants alive - Tucson News Now

Tips to help keep frost damaged plants alive

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Experts from Tohono Chul park offer their tips on bringing back those seemingly ‘dead' plants in your yard.

Plant experts say 'this is the hardest time of the year for true gardeners'.  Many think their garden looks like a graveyard; and owners of mesquite trees have more leaves on the ground then are on the tree, many want to clean up, but the advice is leave it alone. 

Cactus may look weak and mushy, plants may be dark and shriveled, but leave those dead parts on the plants. 

Specialists at Tohono Chul say gardeners will be surprised by what grows back.  Leaving the dead parts on the plant also will help if there is another hard freeze, they will protect the parts that are still alive. 

As for the trees, all mesquites have dropped their leaves much earlier than usual; don't clean them up.  Keep the leaves on the ground, it helps insulate the ground and the root system. 

Experts say have no fear, most of the plants will grow back, they may just be a little shorter than usual.  The plant specialists say to prune the trees when the winter weather and hard freezes are over, usually around mid-March. 

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