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Updated: 12/06/2015 06:18:23PM

Wet plants, bark peelings and fried fronds

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We always receive interesting calls at our office that I think offer good insight to all gardeners. Several calls concerning a particular issue probably mean that many more residents are experiencing the same thing. For instance, many landscape plants have been dealing with our heavy rains — some with damaging results. Also, when you see your tree beginning to lose its bark, you may begin to panic! Lightning is an irresistible force of nature that occasionally comes in contact with palms — sometimes with shocking results! These are some topic areas that I think warrant some discussion.

With all of the rain we have had recently you would think that all of our plants are well-watered and content. However, for some plants the rain was more than they could take. Some plants cannot tolerate standing water for very long and as a result they “drown.” The roots stop functioning and no longer supply water to the top part of the plant. The result is wilting which may seem strange as this is often associated with plants that are in need of water. The stressed damaged roots may then be attacked by fungi causing further damage. Flood tolerance will vary and some plants such as avocados are not at all tolerant. Bananas and mangoes tend to be moderately tolerant, while coconuts are fairly tolerant. Some plants such as cypress are built for wet soil and are very adaptable. To prevent this type of damage occurring in the future, consider fixing the drainage issue by raising the soil with a mound or raised bed. The situation could also be used to your advantage by simply selecting plants that can tolerate occasional standing water and turn it into a rain garden.

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