Mother Nature can be extremely unpredictable. You certainly would not expect to see 70 degrees in Boston in January, but that’s exactly what happened in 2020. One year later, Mother Nature flipped the script, bringing an unexpected and unprecedented snowstorm to our southern Texas area. Most of us and our plants in San Antonio were caught off guard—and rightfully so.
Now, as we move forward toward spring, a residual issue from the snowstorm has arisen: how to care for plants that have suffered through the unseasonal weather. This can be a particularly frustrating time. Some plants, however, may not be as dead as they seem. Fortunately, here is some practical landscaping advice to help the plants of the San Antonio area through these challenges.
1. WAIT TO CUT BACK!
If you are wondering how to care for plants after a snowstorm, the first step is practicing patience. More specifically, wait to cut back on your plants. Perennials that require yearly attention will need to be snipped, but giving the plants more time to recover from the cold will help them grow stronger. Cutting them back too soon can weaken them further, so be patient!
2. WAIT UNTIL THE SPRING/GROWING SEASON COMES TO DETERMINE IF PLANTS ARE ALIVE
The second step is—you guessed it—more patience! However, this piece of landscaping advice is slightly different from the first. Your yard may be looking pretty brown. The good news is that more plants than you might think can survive an unseasonal snowstorm—you just need to give them time to rebound. Prematurely uprooting plants may be the true destruction. It is best to wait until the growing season to determine which plants have perished from the storm.
3. DON’T OVER WATER
How to take care of plants after a snowstorm is different than under normal springtime conditions. Some people may be eager to nurse them back to vibrancy by giving them an abundance of water, but that's actually not what they need right now. Your plants are in shock—over-watering them might only compound their distress.
4. IF YOU MUST CUT BACK, INSULATE YOUR PLANTS
The last bit of landscaping advice is to insulate your plants, which has multiple benefits. The best way to do this is by adding mulch, a process that will not only protect the plants from future freezes but will also make your yard look great.