Upcoming freeze

dizzylizzy415April 13, 2014

I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and the temperatures have fluctuated so much this spring it is crazy. Today got above 80 degrees, but a storm is coming in tomorrow and the forecast for Wednesday morning is 32 degrees. My newly planted roses have already set buds. I am new at growing roses and have pampered these like crazy. What should I do to avoid losing the new growth and buds? Any advice?

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seil zone 6b MI

I can feel your pain. It was a glorious 79 and sunshine here today. Tomorrow we are all down hill for temperatures with T storms and Tuesday we're going to be 30 high and 25 low with snow. Sheesh I'm tired of this.

If it's only going to 32 and only for a few hours at night they should be fine. It takes temperatures down below about 27 degrees for a prolonged period of time to do damage to the roses. If you are worried and you have some frost cover you can use that but I don't think it's necessary. DO NOT use plastic of any kind on them. The problem with using any type of cover in a storm is that it gets wet and heavy and can end up doing more damage by breaking things than the storm would have done.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 11:44PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

32 degrees is fine. You may notice some flowers that open even 2-3 weeks from now are distorted. That happens when the temps get low while the buds are forming.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:04AM
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dizzylizzy415

Ugg! Thanks so much, Seil and Buford. I know you feel my pain because this spring has had more temperature fluctuations than I can remember in a LONG time. I have a small garden of hybrid teas and grandifloras that I just started this year. Before now, all I have grown were the knockouts which are no problem at all. They seem to survive and flourish in my yard under almost any conditions, but I have really been diligent with these new roses, creating a raised bed, monitoring the soil ph, fertilizing with alfalfa tea, etc.. I am trying to go the organic route which I know will be very difficult (especially with controlling bs) but I am giving it a try. I just don't want to lose the buds I already have. I will have to decide if covering with a sheet is worth the trouble. I don't want the sheet to weigh the plants down, and if it is only going down to 32 degrees for a short time, it may be best to just leave them and hope for the best. I know they must feel stressed, but right now they are healthy looking bushy plants. We will see what happens. I will watch the weather closely. Good luck with yours, and thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:51AM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

I also am worried, we are 80 today so everything is going gangbusters, all the trees have completely popped over the weekend-- and tomorrow night will be at 29, 50 on Wed and then 32 on Wed night.

I'm new to this spring freeze thing (relocated from CA), so not sure if I should try to protect my newly planted rose bands and perennials or just cross my fingers and hope for the best!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:16AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Portia , when I lived in pa it was very normal in spring . If you have any buds on any new roses id cover them if u have time . If not , and it's just perrenials popping up , don't worry about it . And the trees will be just fine too! Totally normal for pa .
Dizzy , I am in a similar boat . All my roses have buds . They are all in pots however so I plan on moving the ones that came from the greenhouse yesterday inside . The ones that have been here a while will be staying outside , with a sheet just in case . Let's pray this is it for the spring !! I want to see my babies open up soon !!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:32AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

If you have some large buckets or trash barrels perhaps you can just cover the roses for the night and remove the barrels promptly when morning arrives.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 12:09PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Don't have buds yet on my roses here in Zone 6 (KS), but they are all pruned very low (hard winter) and leafing out like crazy--and I just checked to see how low the temps would fall tonight: 23 degrees! ARghhhhhhhh!!!!

If we can just get though tonight all right, there are no freezing temps forecast for the next 10 days--so we should be home free by then.

But I have no idea what to do with the 23 degree temps tonight. No way I can cover all my plants even if that would help.

This is when I get depressed.

Kate

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 12:21PM
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dizzylizzy415

I didn't think about trash cans! Great idea, hoovb. I will give that try. I like that better than sheets. I am afraid the sheets will blow around and injure the tender plants. My garden is in the front yard, so the neighbors may wonder, but that is better than losing the blooms!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 3:04PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Kate and all, I feel your pain. Mine have all been pruned and are super foliated (like aphid picnic time). I have buds about the size of large chickpeas all over my Zephie and most others.
On the bright side, I'm hoping it might kill the aphids? And some of the fungus I am beginning to see...
The other bummer....I released ladybugs two days ago and have been thrilled to see them hanging around...wonder what the weather will do to them....
Oh well...can't fight Mother Nature.
I do love the bucket idea though and I have lots of empty 3 gallon pots.
Susan

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:11PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

29 tonight, it's getting to be a bit ridiculous. Of course we just mulched all the left over leaves with the mower on Sunday. I will have to scrape up some mulch or something to protect those roses that just have a tiny bit of new growth after losing all their canes.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:01AM
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zaphod42

Our current temp is 22 degrees. Thankfully, none of the roses have leafed out yet. I planted three bareroots earlier this week. I brought the pots back into the garage for a couple days. Forecast show that after today its not supposed to get below freezing overnight for the next ten days. The day part of the forecast looks depressing though. A week before we even get close to approaching 60 and a week and half before it exceeds 60. Have yet to see a forsythia in bloom. Bleh.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:25AM
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erasmus_gw

It's supposed to get down to 29 here tonight and 30 tomorrow night. I brought most of my small potted plants under my house yesterday and will leave them there until Thursday. Will bring in large potted plants and houseplants today. Am even going to dig up some pentas I had planted, thinking we were out of the woods for freezes. I was about done with pruning so it is unfortunate that I might have to prune some more after this. But it seems to me that the last time this happened the spring flush still arrived, just a little later. Ugh.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:09AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

RELIEF! Either the temps didn't get quite as low as projected, or my plants are tougher than I thought!

It's almost impossible to get temps online AFTER the time has passed. Everything I try to google to get how low last night's temps actually fell just brings up today's forecast. I did find one comment to last night's temps going only down to 27 instead of 23 as we expected, so I'm going with that.

My daffodils aren't looking too good, but they were nearing the end of their blooming cycle anyway. Haven't checked everything out yet, but what I could see from the back door looked fine!

Now I'm ready to sail into spring with no set-backs. No drops in temps forecast for the next 10 days anyway. Yippee!

So glad that is over.

Kate

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:36AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I woke up to a couple inches of snow on the ground this morning. It's around 30 right now and our coldest night will be tonight at 24. Glad I didn't uncover anything yet!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:58AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Good luck, seil. Your plants went through worse than that during this strange winter, so I'm sure they will make it through this (hopefully) last dose of winter.

Kate

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:05AM
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pat_bamaz7

Hey Kate, If you go to weather.com and choose the monthly option, it will show you last night's actual low.
Our low is forecasted for around 27 tonight. Hoping my plants currently on life support will pull through okay. "Warm" wishes to everyone going forward...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:48AM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Nothing has started at all here. :( No leaves on trees, forsythias, etc. No roses leafing out. I guess spring will be a couple weeks at least late here!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:00PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

Everything survived here without missing a beat. No daff wilt!
Hopefully it killed some aphids?????
Susan

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:47AM
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erasmus_gw

It was 32 this morning, but I don't know how cold it got last night. Looking around my garden I don't see any damage on roses but I did see some frost and wilted honeysuckle at the lower outer edge of my yard. Also see some tulips nodding and a peony looks like it's damaged. But damage to roses can take a few days to show up.
I got almost all my potted plants put under my house or in my house. So many have buds and such fresh new growth, I'm glad I protected them. Should freeze again tonight.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:21AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Our forecast said it was dropping to 30 degrees last night so I did not bother covering anything... Looked out early this morning and Temp was 23 degrees... urgg!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:09AM
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susan4952(5)

I always cover my new growth if any precip. is going to freeze.. I use dry cleaner bags and just grab and toss before any warm up the next morning. works really well. A little greenhouse for the night.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Snow here this morning and 26 degree temps forecast for tonight.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:06AM
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portia(PA 6B, Brandywine)

We had frozen water in birdbaths (so much rain yesterday and 70 all day) but it only dropped to 30 last nite, so not too bad. Things looked okay this morning (covered a few newly planted bands), a few of the covered items I used pots with holes (all I had) so some of them had some iced drops but thankfully it's fully sunny today so it's already melted. Fingers crossed! Should be 34-35 tonite, so I hope we are out of it. Hope it's sunny skies for all of us!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:21AM
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buford(7 NE GA)

It only went down to 31 by me, so I didn't do any protecting. It was extremely windy and I figured whatever I put down would blow away anyway. I checked this morning and didn't see any damage to the new growth. Of course the buds may not develop properly. My hydrangea leaves look a bit curled, but at least they aren't black and wilted like old lettuce.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:07PM
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seil zone 6b MI

We were down into the low 20s two nights running and snow on Tuesday morning. Probably in the 30s tonight. I really hope this is the last of it!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:54PM
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erasmus_gw

The dry cleaner bags are probably the most lightweight plastic. I might try that sometime, thanks.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:57AM
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