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Gardening advice on frost damage on orchid trees

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: April, 2013, Page 119



ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - Three years ago, I planted an orchid tree. It grew well, bloomed the following spring, but suffered freeze damage during the next winter, although it seemed to revive. However, this spring the leaves turned yellow and many dropped, although it was full of blooms. What is going on?

A - In some varieties of the orchid tree, such as Bauhinia blakeana ‘Hong Kong’, it is normal for leaves to drop after blooming, according to MCCE Master Gardener Olin Miller. It appears that your tree has recovered from the freeze. As with any tree, the best thing you can do to promote long-term health and vigor is to water correctly. Apply water at the outer edge of the canopy (drip line) and allow it to soak 3 feet deep through the entire root zone with each irrigation.
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