Plants dying over winter

I have lost a total of ten plants/ small shrubs over the winter. Most were firmly established and had been prepped for winter. Was it the winter or the frosts we had in the Spring that did it. Would really like to find out the cause so that I can remedy this for next winter. Has anyone else experienced this?

Hi! I’m curious which shrubs you lost. I’m wondering about my choisia and possibly part of my euonymus alata. I suppose these losses open up opportunities!

My Choisya Mexican orange took a beating this year. I cut it back to live wood and hope it will put out shoots. When I scrape the bark it is still green so here is hoping. Have had it at least 1o years. Also lost a hosta. I think the long spell of cold weather probably is the culprit.

I am pretty sure that the 16 days of night frost colder than -5, and 5 of those days never wamed up above 0…is what killed a lot of well established zone 6 and 7 shrubs/trees. We lost 2 california lilac, 2 umbrella palms and 3 arbutus.
Several other shrubs were set back but will recover.
The 16 day period was from Dec 21 into Jan this year. La nina at its worst (and we are still in it).

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We’ve also lost plants this winter, mostly well-established ones. They included a California Lilac, an arbutus (so sad to see that one go), a clematis, and an azalea. Several rhodos are looking pretty bad too–not sure if they’ll recover. I don’t think that the heat dome last year helped them either.

It would be interesting to see if anyone has any suggestions on how to better prepare for the very cold snaps in the winter. With global warming, it seems that we have to be ready for more extremes more often. I’ve started buying plants that are for zone 5 in the hopes that they can better withstand the cold.

Coming from Kitimat/Terrace area we are used to weather that goes from warm to bitterly cold within a short period of time. On top of that we would get a huge dump of snow, it would melt, then freeze and start again. Always bought for zone 4-5 and then hoped for the best. That being said, I am learning a whole new way of gardening here on the lower coast. Lost a Nandina, died from the inside out, and one of our maples isn’t showing any signs of life in about 2/3 of it. There are branches that started to get leaves but I think the spring frosts killed those. Does anyone know if it will leaf out again or is that it for the season. How much can you cut back a maple?

2 of my rose bushes aren’t too happy. I’m next to the farmland so my back yard gets pretty soggy in winter. Lost all 4 of my young winter jasmine which where in the wettest part of my garden. Also my very mature Camilla was full of buds in winter then starting dropping all the buds from March on. Maybe had 4 flowers. Was that the warmer weather in February then freezing winds frost in March?? It has been a challenge wondering how to prepare for next winter. So far behind in planting veggies and annuals. We had a frost on the roofs last night!!!

I do feel better hearing from all of you about the dying plants. I had sincerely hoped that my plant loss wasn’t from something I was or wasn’t doing .The plants I lost completely were 2 heathers, a penstemon, 2 Spanish lavenders, and 2 lipstick sages. I have a forsythia, a buddleia, and a weigela that are looking very ill, so don’t know if they will recover. I have cut them back as much as possible to see if they will come back. I am thinking that when I replant I will use plants that are native or hardy to a colder climate. It broke my heart to lose all these plants, but will try again. Good luck all of you.

I’ve lost a number of things. How is your choisia doing? I cut mine back to green wood, too, but so far no new growth. I’m wondering how long to wait until I grub it out and plant something else.

No new growth and about 6 inches below where I originally cut sll went soft. I decided enough time had gone by and dug mine out. Really disappointed to do so as I had it for so long. Maybe it is time for something new. Want something that will stay green through the winter but will flower in the spring or summer.

Aw, that’s really disappointing. I bought a red twig dogwood this winter that I had cut down and used the branches as supports to my emerging bulbs and they have since taken root. The silver lining to the choisia dying is that I may put the new red twig dogwood there. Beautiful winter interest. Good luck with your new planting!