What have you had killed by a late freeze in the past? (besides annuals or veggies you got in a hurry to plant)
I live near Chicago and my bleeding heart, which was ready to open it's blossom is frozen and splanned. Some other perennials that have come out early are curled. My hosta's are covered by compost and boxes and they are in great shape. But other early risers will have to get a haircut when it gets warm and start over. Some flowering shrubs are curling and forget my old varieties of hydrangeas that won't bloom this year. Sedums are not looking happy either. But that is Mother Nature. The cold will continue here for another week.
Most perennials bounce back just fine, no worries. Blooming may be sacrified in some cases, but the plant itself will more than likely still fill in and thrive.
If your bleeding heart is the old fashioned kind (spectablis, not luxuriant) will be fine, even if the foliage looks wilted now. In fact, when this crazy winter weather finally breaks, you can go out and trim all the wilted stuff off, and it will send up fresh new foliage which will put out blooms without skipping a beat. Those guys are very hardy.
The sedum should be OK, too. The good news about perennials is that the really important part of the plant is NOT what shows above the ground - it's the roots - as long as the roots are healthy, the plant will almost certainly bounce back.
Your right Deb, the most important part is below ground level. I am not worried about anything because again it's Mother Nature doing her thing. But the old fashion bleeding hearts will be fine. The gold one I have had since it came on the market about 8 years ago..so it's a big beauty and was in a protected area. That's why it got its flowers early and looked lush. Not anymore. But we'll see what happens. The importance of that plant is foliage color anyway...the flowers are the bonus. It looks pretty sad right now. :(
Good science experience on early frost, one to put in the journal for future references.
My lilacs look terrible. I doubt I'll get any bloom this year. I can't remember ever losing them before.
I suspect my lilies are goners for the season. They look like blackened sticks; they were up about 15 inches. Siberian iris aren't even wilted. I plant to make a survey today and see the damage.....fun, fun.
Same with my Lilacs. I'm sad. My forsythia haven't even budded open yet and all the others in my surround neighborhoods have been in bloom for a week or so. I know they are still alive because I saw buds starting to form before the cold snap.
My forsynthia is blooming- new variety fireworks? still seedling but doing good job. Some bleeding hearts and early anemones look wilted, in other locations they still perky and nice. I covered few lilies that came up so they are fine, uncovered today. Hellebores those that came up good look wilted too but they were covered with leaves and compost so am sure they will have more foliage to send and maybe even few flowers.
So far I have not seen anything that has been completely turn to mush.