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Hail damaged plants: Recovery or replant?

Posted: 5:33 PM, May 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-21 19:33:29-04

Hail hit several times over the weekend in Southern Colorado. It is tough on cars and roofs and it can shred the plants and trees in your yard. You call a repairman for the cars and roofs, but are plants a lost cause?

The weekend hail included hitting at the fundraising plant sale for the Horticultural Art Society in Colorado Springs. It was plant experts with decades of experience in the midst of plant damaging hail. The plants for sale were quickly covered or moved. The Master Gardeners in the society know to move quickly. “We have weather events like no one else in the rest of the country understands,” said Horticultural Art Society, Garden Supervisor, Diane Brunjes. Still, a lot of the plants and trees in the gardens are showing the aftermath of hail.

Rose bushes with leaves stripped away, ground cover looking ripped and torn, and flower blossoms crushed. “The most important lesson is not to give up too early,” said Brunjes. She says because it is spring you will likely see some re-growth. “Be patient. Wait a few days before they go even pruning, because that severe injury tells the plant to release a hormone called Auxin and that stimulates it to put on new growth."

Plants will continue to show scars from the damage, but as other growth fills in it will cover some of the damage. There is also recognizing a plant is so damaged full recovery is questionable. With things like a vegetable garden with a limited growing window to make the goal of harvesting produce, that is when opting to replant is best.