Toledo Talk

What happenned to the ivy this year?

The English Ivy growing up the side of my house died this winter. I have noticed the same at other properties in my neighborhood. Am I jumping to conclusions based on a small sample size or is this widespread?

created by nick44 on May 02, 2014 at 10:16:33 pm     Comments: 19

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Nope. Winter kill. The roots likely survived. Watch for new shoots at the base. Don't pull off the "dead" ivy just yet. Some of it might push out new growth. Third week of May, or sooner.

The boxwoods took it pretty hard too. All damage on the south side or south west side. I've seen damage from Toledo to Cleveland. Colleagues have reported damage as far south as Cincinnati. Some of it serious. Some of it cosmetic. By the first week of June you will know if the winter burned boxwoods will grow out of the damage or leave permanent holes in the plant.

posted by holland on May 02, 2014 at 10:40:53 pm     #  

Thanks a lot for the information. I don't remember seeing anything like this before. I didn't mention the boxwoods. I planted boxwoods across the back property line of the backyard. They don't look good. I'll reassess later as you recommended.

posted by nick44 on May 02, 2014 at 10:56:23 pm     #  

My boxwoods call pulled through great, as did my English ivy that is a ground cover in the back corner of the yard. The English ivy that reaches 25ft into my maple didn't fair so well and we're were thinking of pulling it all down.

Sadly, it looks like I lost one of my forsythia in my hedge. They're only a couple of years old, but in going to want to get it replaced fairly soon to try to keep them all the same size.

posted by SensorG on May 02, 2014 at 11:12:09 pm     #  

Get thee to the garden center before the Mother's Day's weekend sales rush. The best quality plant material available for the year is sitting there right now.

posted by holland on May 02, 2014 at 11:41:39 pm     #  

I'm surprised my ivy made it.

posted by upso on May 02, 2014 at 11:45:25 pm     #  

Ugh, guess it got my forsythia, they're only yellow at the bottom and there's nothing on a baby lilac at all. All on the south end of the house. :( I put $400 worth of new stuff around the foundation a year ago after a big dig, am I going to lose it all? :(

posted by nana on May 03, 2014 at 12:15:16 am     #  

One patch of my ivy that remained buried all winter under snow is doing fine, but some that was exposed has completely browned up.

The brutal winter seems to have put the beatdown on a number of my plants. Some of my yucca plants look pretty anemic, though the root base is so deep they will probably recover. A holly tree on the edge of my property went completely brown and leafless (not the yellow spring leaf drop-off, but full-blown dead).

Good spring for tulips, though: the extended cold dormancy seemed to play well with the tulip bulbs:


posted by historymike on May 03, 2014 at 07:22:47 am     #  

nana, its hard to say. If the forsythia survived up to the snow line, then it will recover.

The "baby lilac"? If the buds it set last year are all dead, but the cambium is alive, it may push out a new set of buds. Scratch a stem lightly with your fingernail and look for green just under the bark. If you've got green you've got a chance. Its too soon to dig up anything. Watch for new shoots from the roots.

I lost one of my dwarf conifers. I lost three of my Japanese Maples. The plants all were 14 years old. I'm going to collect again and replant.

I lost a brand new Liquidambar styraciflua 'Slender Silhouette'. That's a Sweetgum, nearly seedless, 40' to 50' high but keeping to 4' wide. Brilliant fall color. Hardy to Zone 5' !!!!! It literally exploded at the graft in February and toppled over. Darndest thing I ever saw. I will definitely replant that one. But, I will white wash the trunk, to keep the sun from warming it in the winter. The graft is the most vulnerable area. Warm winter sun on a frozen trunk on a new tree can cause this if the tree isn't oriented toward the sun in the same position it was in the nursery. Obviously mine wasn't.

I'll white wash it once and let the tree grow out of it. By that time it should be acclimated sufficiently to withstand a normal zone 5 winter. I'll use pure white, slightly thinned exterior latex paint.

And pray we don't have another polar vortex winter.

posted by holland on May 03, 2014 at 08:00:37 am     #   2 people liked this

Nice historymike! Thanks for sharing.

posted by holland on May 03, 2014 at 08:03:51 am     #  

Thanks, Holland, not like I haven't lost plants before, due to construction mainly, it just sucks. This was the first time I had ever really planned out what I was putting in and I tried some new things, shame to lose them. It sounds like we'll all fall back and regroup this year. Mother Nature cares not for your plans!! Luckily, I have 5 great greenhouses around me and can still afford to replace them, next year will be a different story. Good luck everyone! :)

posted by nana on May 03, 2014 at 08:48:03 am     #  

Holland's post made me curious about my own Japanese maples. I have planted two small-ish ones the past few years, and both suffered in the winter. However, both have some budding in the midst of winter damage, so I am hopeful they will survive.

It looks like about 1/4 of the branches have dieback, but this is largely at the ends.

My Japanese spurge, though, seemed completely unfazed by being buried under three feet of snow for months.

posted by historymike on May 03, 2014 at 09:20:55 am     #  

Well, I pruned the Caryopteris and they are fine. Interesting that the one in the most protected place had the most to cut. The lilac are blooming and I didn't see hardly any branches not joining in. the forsythia are getting green right out to the tips, so maybe next year we'll have flowers. The hydrangea were not hurt at all but the butterfly bushes may not have made it, gonna give them more time. Don't think the azalea made it, altho I have seen bigger plants blooming aready in Oregon. Everything else is looking better than it did last year, so yay!

posted by nana on May 04, 2014 at 06:41:34 pm     #  

Good to hear, nana. Sounds beautiful.

posted by holland on May 04, 2014 at 08:13:59 pm     #  

Thanks! It was scary getting started last year, I had never had a blank canvas to fill before, but I already see lots of places to add more! :)

posted by nana on May 04, 2014 at 08:16:17 pm     #  

oh man, holland, just re-read your post about your losses, so sorry those really established trees were lost. Guess it's a sign of just how bad this winter was! :( Hope your new transplants take well!

posted by nana on May 04, 2014 at 08:23:01 pm     #  

Gardener's are optimists by nature. Who else puts a seed in the ground and expects food for the table?

While I really miss some of those Japanese Maples, its an opportunity to paint a new garden canvas.

posted by holland on May 05, 2014 at 05:01:08 am     #  

I was watching St. Louis vs The Cubs from Wrigley Field and the ivy looked dead. They kept saying it will come in with warmer weather, but I'm thinking it - like the Cubs - have seen better days.

posted by Molsonator on May 05, 2014 at 07:26:14 am     #  

Working out in my yard yesterday, I pruned the dead branches out of my Japanese Laceleaf Maple - there were far more than normal. Some of the lower branches have already leafed out but the upper and top center areas are a bit further behind. While it did survive, I'll be curious to see what it looks like when fully leafed out. Probably the only thing that saved it is the fact that it is planted on the east side (front) of my home very near the house.

I'm taking your advice Holland and waiting to see the verdict on my boxwoods. They suffered some pretty severe winter burn. I'm also wondering about the Mimosa I planted last year. While it doesn't look dead, I don't see any buds poking forth either. I realize they are late bloomers but I'd have thought I'd see some kind of action by now.

Most surprising (to me) is that my old Bristlecone Pine seems to have thrived through the nasty winter. Green as can be and new growth is coming forth from every branch.

posted by Foodie on May 05, 2014 at 09:41:06 am     #  

One good thing, the cooler weather is really slowing down the bulb flowers decay, my tulips look great and I still have daffies that look like they just bloomed! :)

posted by nana on May 05, 2014 at 11:51:23 am     #