|A planter fixed up with amended soil and plants that were in pots and protected from our hard freeze|
|All dead. The day after shows that perhaps some of it will live, but by day 2, the planter is a total loss. All leaves and roots have turned black and soft. Nothing at this point is salvageable. Or is it?|
Plan B utilizes pots that are specifically grown for emergencies like our hard frost. These pots are filled with the transplants from the primary planters and heavy pots around the property that cannot be lifted. The pots that carry these transplants must be movable and able to be transported to a shed or place where they will not freeze. To continue a plant species, one needs to save its' clones or transplants. I had all of them in different pots around the property so that when the freeze came, I could put their clones into our shed. This past weekend was brutal as I cleaned out the two large planters and reworked them both over again. It actually looks better now than it had when I put them together for the first time. However the planters were lush and full of beautiful tropical plants that made it through some tough winters, but unfortuneatly, this winter was too much for them and the entire colonies collapsed.
|Back to the basics as I create a mini jungle of effects....caladiams were also placed in the planter to add contrast in spring. Featured in this planter is a datura, spider plant, philodendron, grecian urn plant, and caladiam bulbs with red coloring.|
My Plan B utilizes a system that keeps an active colony of common plants around the property like cactus, spider plants, schefflera, philodendron, ice plants, citrus, succulents and fatsia plants. These plants are currently being transferred to their new homes where they'll be able to grow even larger. Should I be doing this now? Probably not, but I can't stand looking at empty planters that have feral cats using them for the bathroom. I also have this feeling that our severe frosts are over for this year. We have some cold nights coming, but they won't be like it was several weeks ago. The benefit of Plan B is that you don't have to spend a whole lot of money to replace a huge amount of plants that were killed off. Instead, you have a reserve of clones waiting to replace the original mother plant. I have several citrus in pots and a cactus garden that I will be waiting to transplant until March. However, I have started with the tropicals in our courtyard planters and I can't wait to see the "Thriller, Filler, Spiller" idea come to life in Spring. More on that idea tomorrow.
|I also put Mondo grass in this planter....more on this surprisingly tough plant coming up in the next several days.....|
It's always a great idea to invest in pots. When you have extra plants, like for example from the spider plant, you should take the "babies" off the mother plants and place them in pots or around your property. I have also done this with the agave pups and cacti segments. While this freeze was devastating for a lot of us, I was prepared for it. The only part that I wasn't ready for was the Jacaranda attack. I didn't have any clones of that tree and so to this day, I still worry about that situation as they aren't cheap to replace.
|Fatsia. An example of an emergency pot.|
|The Dancy Tangerine may replace a lemon tree gone sour.|
|Spider, caladiam, and scheflerra make a perfect tropical combination.|
Stay tuned for "Thriller, Filler, Spiller" Part 2 of pots and their purposes.