Question of the Week
browse by: questions
Thanks to Kathleen for this great question! Yes, this winter, many of our succulent plants suffered damage.
With our cacti Opuntia, I've never seen them re-sprouting from the root. But, if you can salvage at least a pad or two from the top growth, you can re-start this plant from that. You do need to cut the pad very carefully away from the rest of the plant, and then set that piece out to air dry in a very warm place, but not in the bright sun, for a few days. You want that cut to heal over, so it doesn't leak out plant sap. Then you can re-start that pad, and it's best to plant it in a small container of very fine aggregate rock and sand, and get it ready then to transplant out into the garden.
With your agaves, you may notice some white areas that are actually frost bit and burned. Those leaves will eventually turn brown and maybe mushy and then those leaves will die. You should clean off the mushy, dead portion but leave the heart if that's undamaged and the roots. This plant may produce propagules, or pups, that you can then transplant if you want to.
And our sedums often do die to the ground, but will return from roots. In fact, you may already see new growth on these plants. With all of these plants, patience will definitely be required; it will take them quite a long time to grow back to the size that you may have had them.
With palms and cycads (sago palms), cut off the damaged fronds. Fertilize and be patient.
For other plants that appear to be dead, it can't hurt to wait a little longer before digging them out. The warmer days (and warmer soil) may surprise you.