Many gardeners are doing needed pruning after the devastating winter. Crotons are dead at least to the ground, Gold Mound Duranta are frozen way back and some ixora are about dead too. These are just a few of the plants that did not like the really cold weather of a night or two. Here is the question. Do you plant more of these or do you select something else?
Sure, most of these made it through previous winters so why not just cut them back or replant? This may not be a bad idea if only a few plants are involved but what if you have a lot of these? Maybe it is time to think about some replacements.
Not all replacements are going to be totally cold resistant. You might notice schefflera variety Trinette is in this list. It is quite tough but did suffer some cold damage in more exposed areas. A little pruning like we normally do to keep it in bounds is all that is usually needed to give it a new look. This is much less pruning than is needed by shiny jasmine or Gold Mound Duranta. A hard pruning might help some crotons but many are not going to revive or recovery is going to take a long time. You may also need to think about hibiscus in those really cold sites. Many are frozen way back and some are dead to the ground.
Below is my list of winter survivors. I am sure there are more but this is a good starter list. These can all be maintained in the three to four foot range. If you do not know some of these plants do an Internet search or email me for more information.
Burfordii holly - sun or light shade
Camellia Shishi Gashira - filtered sun best but can take sun. Pink blooms
Coontie - sun or light shade
Drift roses- several varieties - full sun. Several colors
Dwarf bottlebrush Little John. Red blooms
Dwarf powderpuff - Pink or red blooms
Dwarf schefflera Trinette - filtered sun best
Dwarf yaupon holly - Schellings or other
Indian hawthorn - sun to light shade
Liriope - sun to light shade
Loropetalum Plum, Pizzazz, Plum Delight - Purple foliage & pink blooms
Now is the time to try something different in your landscape. Most in the list like the full sun but some can live in the light shade as noted. Give them normal care and they should survive most winters.