SAWS offices & payment centers will be closed Monday, May 30. Call 210-704-SAWS for emergency assistance.

Big Freeze Aftermath: Losses in the Landscape

Following February’s extreme weather, many people are worried about their plants and if they’ll survive.

Luckily most plants were still dormant when the record-setting freezes set in. So their roots, trunks, branches and buds should have been protected.

What to expect:

  • Subtropical and small leafy plants likely froze back to the ground, but many will probably survive.
  • Palms and cycads may be in critical condition; if the centers or “heart” of them did not freeze, they’ll be OK.
  • Leafy perennials such as spider lilies, crinums and split leaf philodendron foliage may have turned to green mush. But don’t worry — they’ll likely survive.
  • Citrus, depending on the species, will experience severe leaf loss. Unfortunately, Mexican lime and Improved Meyer lemon suffered the worst and will likely perish.

What can you do for affected plants? Wait a couple of weeks before starting any pruning to determine if they’re still alive. Also, hold off on pruning shrubs and palm fronds until early April. The plants will tell you where to prune.