May 28, 2023 at 7:31 pm Reply
I have been growing a stephanotis plant for almost 20 years. This year when I brought my plant outside in spring, there was a night of cold, freezing or near freezing temperature. The leaves began to turn blackish starting on the outside edge of the leaf. It had begun to bud inside the house before going outside and the buds were 1/2″. These have kept growing and some are even blooming. The buds are not pristine white as usual and have dark markings and are yellowish in colour. Has my plant been frost-bitten or is it infected by some pest or fungus/ bacteria? Will it survive a slight frost overnight?May 31, 2023 at 8:33 am Reply
Ho my, freezing isn’t something stephanotis likes at all.
Since it’s still alive now, though, I’m inclined to think it’ll have survived. I suspect that the cold damaged parts of the plant but not all of them. That would explain why the flowers were hit: flower buds are the most tender part of the plant! Once a portion of the bud is hurt, it can’t heal like we do. It’ll just try to keep on growing with the dead portions of the tissue still there. Of course the dead tissue is what would look black or yellow.
I would monitor the blooming because the problem with dead tissue is that it attracts moisture and lots of fungus would love to feed on it. Mark a few flowers and try to see if the brown/yellow/black portions are spreading. If they are, then I’d recommend snipping the flower off. It would mean something is spreading along the flower bud, and snipping it off will help protect the whole plant.
However, if the deadened part more or less stays the same, then you can let them be, so you’ll have some fragrance at least from your flower. Normally if you haven’t changed the way you care for it, your stephanotis plant should bounce back fine. To be on the safe side for fungus, I’d water slightly less than usual: since your plant isn’t as vigorous as other years because it’s recovering, it’ll need less water.May 31, 2023 at 3:30 pm Reply
Sam, thanks for your input. I will monitor the buds closely for fungus or bacteria. I already have removed the frost-bitten leaves.June 1, 2023 at 11:50 am Reply
Sure. Good thing, removing the leaves. Hope your Stephanotis pulls through!June 1, 2023 at 10:31 pm Reply
Thanks, Sam, it’s starting to pick now that the weather is warmer-really warm in late afternoon. The flowers are also growing and the flower are getting their usual vibrant white. I’ll keep you informed.June 7, 2023 at 6:40 am Reply
Oh that looks so nice there are so many blooms growing on it! Thanks for sharing the pic.
What fertilizer do you give it? It already seems to have bounced back from the freezing, it must have been a very healthy plant.June 7, 2023 at 7:23 pm Reply
Sam, thanks for your kind thoughts. There are still leaves on it that are black on the edges from the frost but the plant has always been a healthy and vigorous grower. I started this plant from a cutting many years ago.
This year, it started to bloom in early March. It’s the first time it’s done this, as it blossoms usually in July or August. I give it a fertilizer for flowering plants (15-30-15) around this time, early June.
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