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Surprising plants that survived the Beaumont area freeze (and some that didn't)

Split leaf philodendron and pygmy date palm
Split leaf philodendron and pygmy date palm
Photo by Johnny Barlow

Driving from Anahuac to Lumberton, a couple days after the longest period of hard freezes in many years, I was surprised by the number of non-native plants I observed that had suffered damage but nevertheless looked like they would probably survive.

In Lumberton, dwarf oleanders were looking sad, but the damage was primarily superficial. Most of the palms and sagos I checked in Beaumont had leaves that ranged from blonde to brown, but their hearts, the inner shoots that come up out of the center, looked like they were going to be fine. A large philodendron covered with plastic had lost its leaves, but like the palms, its central leader and stout trunk appeared to have made it.

On the other hand, I was disappointed that several of my hibiscuses had no green tissue left, and there are surely many other “goners”, especially in the northern portions of the greater Beaumont area. Before assuming your damaged plants are history, be sure to check out the tissue under the bark to see if there is any green color left. If so, they are still viable and will probably rebound in the spring. In the case of no green tissue even at the lowest points of the limbs, you probably will need to replace them when it’s convenient. Remember, this kind of weather is pretty rare in the Golden Triangle.

As for those plants that don’t come through, I see the bright side: a chance to start fresh again this spring with some more colorful favorites, and the opportunity to try some new ones as well. For those who agree with this outlook, I will soon share with you the names of some of these plants I have thoroughly enjoyed for the last nine years and encourage you to give some of them a try.