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Got dead plants? Here's how you can tell, and what to do next

The experts at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens have tips to help you save plants after the Christmas freeze.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio gardens big and small are looking a bit rough after freezing temperatures clamped down on the city around Christmastime. So how do you know whether your plants are going to be OK?

We went straight to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens to ask the experts for answers. Turns out when a hard freeze hits town, homeowners all over the city ask them a similar question. 

"If it's mushy or black, you need to cut it back," said Scott Litchke, associate director of gardens and conservatories. "Even things like rosemary took a pretty hard hit, and that needs to be cut back. What you want to do is check it, get down and see if you have any viable green."

Litchke says breaking a twig or testing the durability of a plant's bark will provide enough indication to tell you how far to cut back the dead material. 

"Some of the prickly pears we have at the garden have turned to mush, and there is no doubt that this is no good anymore," he said. "It has to be cut severely back."

When it comes to banana trees, which Litchke says are popular in the Alamo City, you'll want to cut them down to about a foot off the ground, and at an angle. Banana trees are tough, so they'll eventually grow back. 

You can visit this webpage to find out more about how to protect your plants. 



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