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Ground cover damaged by frost

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Ground cover damaged by frost

Hello,

 

I had some success with this ground cover over last summer, but it has been really damaged by frost. Does anyone know what I should do to help it come back? Should I just leave it, cut it back or remove all the damaged plant? 

 

Unfortunately I have forgotten what it was called. Here is what it should look like nice and green:

 

IMG_1641.JPG

 

Here is what it mainly looks like at the moment after a cold winter:

 

IMG_1640.JPG

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Finally found the name - it is Lotus Vine. Also known as Parrots Beak. Anyone got any suggestions whether I should cut it back or leave it?

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Thanks for the update @AndreaNg.

 

Perhaps community members like @Adam_W@Branchy249 or @CathM might have some suggestions for you.

 

Jason

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Adam_W
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Hi @AndreaNg, Lotus vine is a groundcover type plant. It was originally from the Canary Islands so that tells you a bit about the sort of conditions & climate that it likes.
It does need frost protection so that would be why yours is looking like that...
This doesn't however mean it's been killed by frost, possibly just scorched back.
Trim off a couple of end tips & see if the wood inside looks green. If so it's still alive, if not progressively trim back until you find green wood. If you dont find any then it's probably gone too far.
If you find green wood give it a water with something like Pure Organic seaweed & fertilser BUT... don't overdo this. For one they don't like wet feet & secondly when they have no foliage on they are more likley to be damaged by excess water.
If you are lucky it will reshoot.
Good luck & keep us updated!

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Fantastic, thanks @Adam_W for the advice. I will give it a trim and see how it looks and then report back.

 

For next year, how can I protect from the frost?

Adam_W
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

No worries @AndreaNg
You can buy frost blanket or frost cloth from garden centres etc. Bunnings have it in smaller rolls when it's the right season but here's an example in a larger roll
https://www.bunnings.com.au/frostblock-0-915-x-20m-premium-frost-cloth_p3041574

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Thanks again @Adam_W. I look a quick cutting this morning and it was pretty brown so looks like I will need to cut right back. Will have a go on the weekend. Photo not very good sorry!

 

Cutting2.jpg

Adam_W
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Hi again @AndreaNg ohhh dear... yes, that's looking pretty well gone.
Did you find any green wood?
If not, as much as I hate to say it, maybe consider kissing it goodbye & buying a new one when they hit the stores again...
I know from painful experience that sometimes you can invest more time & money in trying to save a plant than what it would cost to buy a new happy & healthy one.

AndreaNg
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

Thanks again for your advice @Adam_W. I have decided to pull it all out and replace with thyme, which I've had good success with as fast growing ground cover in another section of the garden and looks lovely. I think if I keep the Lotus Vine I will just have the same problem every winter, whereas the thyme is still looking great. 

 

groundcover.jpg

Adam_W
Established Contributor

Re: Ground cover damaged by frost

No worries @AndreaNg, sounds like a good plan!
There are some plants like that which you'll find grow quite well in some areas across the warmer months but just can't handle the winters.
You can still grow them but just think of them as being more of a long season annual than a permanent fixture... Realistically if you pay $20 for one & it looks awesome for 4 to 6 months it's money well spent in my book.
I have to admit that I look at many of the kangaroo paw hybrids as being just like that. Despite doing absolutely everything right with them I've never been able to keep them looking decent for more than about 6-months.

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