HOUSTON — Freezing temperatures have come and gone in Houston, leaving a path of damage in their wake.
Some plants didn't survive the arctic blast. So, what are you supposed to do if you think your plants died? The answer might surprise you: try not to touch them.
Houston Botanic Garden is 132 acres of plants and prairies. It was a lot greener a week ago.
“The hard part of it is that it came so soon from last time,” Director of horticulture Fran de la Mota said.
He said it's hard to tell just how much was killed during the cold spell. They said they tried everything they could to protect the plants, but their efforts likely fell short of saving everything.
From camellias to gardenias, to cacti and banana trees, it's still too early to tell what will survive. That's why he said it's best to wait to see.
“You could remove a lot of the foliage, but maybe not cut them all the way down to the ground yet,” de la Mota said.
The good news is that their plants will likely be OK if they were protected in some way, even if they don't look like they'll survive right now.
“Even if you see brown foliage, the branches could still be alive,” de la Mota said.
He said it's too soon to prune and there are still winter months ahead. The dead foliage could serve as insulation for a future freeze.
“It’s still a little too early to know how much damage, how far down the plant died,” he said. “The best is probably to wait as much as possible, and kind of bear with the eye sore of having the dead plants.”
He said that if your plant is definitely dead and rotting, go ahead and get rid of it.