The Comeback Shrubs

I am so thrilled to see my shrubs coming back after our record breaking February freeze. I was heartbroken when I saw so many gone. My blog is a good way to document their comeback and will ease some of my and others’ distress who live in this zone if it happens again. The tallest plant in the above photo is the Angel Trumpet (Brugmanis) and is making good progress. It will be interesting to see how long it will take before it blooms again. It could be one or two years.

Surprisingly, the Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) is coming up from its roots. I have let these shrubs get out of hand and now they can have a new beginning. The Bottlebrushes are a pollinator favorite.

My favorite Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is growing with vigor. The one that I have in my wooded area has not made any new growth. No matter, as I have already started a new plant. The Confederate Rose is easy to root which made it a passalong favorite in the South.

I did not expect my Cardboard Palm (Zamia furfurace) to come back. The plant is incorrectly named and is actually a cycad.

Variegated Ginger is not exactly a shrub, but when planted en masse, it looks very shrubby. The ginger has frozen before and will take another year before it blooms.

The Split Leaf Philodendron has frozen back at least three times. It has a long way to go, but it is trying.

The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ( Brunfelsia pauciflora) was completely gone. It came back quickly, but the deer felt it needed a trim. I don’t think it will flower this year.

And the shrub that is the favorite of all pollinators, is the Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia paten). I spent many months filling the sugar water feeders daily to keep hummers, bees and other pollinators alive during our flowerless spring. The Automatic Garden has proved itself and the beds are now full of flowers allowing the nectar loving creatures to feed naturally.


20 Comments on “The Comeback Shrubs”

  1. Whew..is that everything?

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Heartening to see the regrowth of so many plants after that disastrous freeze. Nature always amazes.

  3. Tina says:

    It’s heartening that so many of our natives and even tropicals have made it through. My Hamelia has also come back–I was shocked. I doubt I’ll have any blooms until late summer, but still, I’m happy. I’m surprised that the Angel Trumpet survived, I would have thought it too tender. Yay!! That variegated ginger is lovely; I’ll bet it’s a showstopper when it’s big.

  4. shoreacres says:

    I have a blogging friend in Wharton whose Angel Trumpets are back, and doing very well, with lots of blooms. And, another friend outside Dickinson, whose Duranta seemed totally dead found it putting out new growth last week — lots of it. She nearly got rid of it, but made herself be patient, and it seems to have paid off.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Frost kills angel’s trumpet even here. I am surprised to see it survived there, especially since the philodendron was so badly damaged.

  6. Deb says:

    It’s looking wonderful!

  7. Misti says:

    How do you keep deer off the Hamelia? We’ve tried it once or twice but the deer love it and it never seems to survive winter over in my part of Houston.

    My brugs also came back! I figured they would as I know their roots are deep these days—I bet yours bloom this year. Mine pink ones are already over my head and the white ones will bloom late fall as per usual. I’ve been really impressed with how well most plants fared.

    • I have never had a deer problem with the Hamelia. I have one in my front yard and the deer ate the plants around it, but not the Hamelia. I believe I am farther north than you (I’m at the north end of Lake Houston) and I found that if the Hamelia freezes, it will eventually come back. They really like to wait for the heat. My landscaper told me I had to replant them every year and I later learned to just wait for them to come back. Mine are old and maybe have a better root system. I do recommend them even if you need a new one, as they are such a hummingbird favorite.

  8. Though the frost didn’t t happen this year, my shell ginger is looking too tall and gangly. Would you prune it after bloom or wait until Winter. Not sure about this?

  9. Chloris says:

    Lovely foliage in your garden. Brugmansia has to stay in the greenhouse here and even then doesn’t always come back. Even here plants which look dead after severe frost will survive.


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