Winter storm Uri brought freezing temps and ice through Texas this February, leaving
tens of thousands without water and power throughout the Lone Star State. While many
citizens experienced busted pipes and other damage, Texas plants and tree received
the biggest blow.
Carol Curtiss, who is an adjunct professor in both San Jacinto College's maritime
program and continuing and professional development, is a master gardener licensed
through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program. She shares these helpful tips to
get your garden back in shape:
- Don't water your plants right away. "Plants that have been covered in ice need time to finish absorbing the moisture that
was covering them. That should be sufficient moisture for a few days."
- Check the state of your foliage. "If the dead leaves are mushy, they should be removed right away or it could rot
the entire plant. Removing them will allow air and sunlight to the plant and facilitate
- Don't remove all dead material. "Dead leaves dry out and serve as a thin layer of protection in case of another freeze."
- Prune your plants carefully. "You don't need to prune or remove plants until you have determined the extent of
injury. It is OK to prune broken branches, of course. Be sure to make the cut in the
appropriate place to avoid insect and disease entry into the tree."
- Give it time. "Damage may not be apparent for months. Once you clear away rot, let your plants breathe
- Get used to ugly for a while. "Your garden will likely look brown or yellow for a while following a freeze, but
if you give it time, life will come back. You will see flowers bloom and new green
To get more garden-saving tips, you can sign up for gardening courses through San
Jacinto College's CPD Life Long Learning Program. To learn more, visit sanjac.edu/continuing-professional-development/community/life-long-learning.