Australian Native Plants and Frost
I arrived home today from a few weeks enforced convalescence at daughter’s home in the mid north of the state. On many of my gentle walks with her dog I was able to observe the frost damaged plants in the district.
My daughter has a large Melaleuca nesophila in her front yard on the high side of a slope. It flowers wonderfully each year. No sign of burning anywhere on the very large shrubby tree. On the side fence the neighbour has one as does the neighbour on the back fence. Both large shrubs have been severely frost burnt. Yet, in the same yard over the back fence, the lemon tree looks unscathed. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t understand the vagaries of frost. (Just checked my references and it appears that they are damaged by heavy frost. I guess I assumed that because it is such a hardy plant that it would be frost tolerant.)
I thought one could not kill old fashioned marguerite daisies, or geraniums, but both have been severely burnt in daughter’s yard. Both plants have sap in the stems we discovered when tidying some plants so we are hopeful that there will be regrowth. Left the geranium untouched until the frosts have finished as some new growth appeared at the base of the plant and the burnt bits appear to be giving some protection.
I hate to think what the situation is further north where the temperatures dropped even lower.