Violets, African/African Violet that froze
QUESTION: On a recent visit to NH I was given 2 older well established African Violets. Put them in boxes with newspaper and then covered with lots of blankets as it was very cold. They were in the car for 2 days, when I unpacked them once we got to S.C., just looking at them I could tell they froze. Have had them sitting on the counter now for 3 days hoping to revive them. Should I let them be for awhile longer or should I cut them back? Will they regrow?
ANSWER: Joni, I want to help you. I have had this problem before, and one thing is African violets simply cannot tolerate low temperatures. I need you to tell me exactly how LOW the temps got and how long the violets were in that environment. That will help me a lot. Also, if at all possible, can you send me a photo of them? If not a photo, at least let me know the temperatures and how long. I will respond as soon as I can when I hear back.
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QUESTION: The plants were in the car for 3 1/2 days in temps below freezing to 50 depending on the time of day. Right now the leaves have dried out and are getting hard, stems have shrunk to look like sticks. Stupid error on my part I should of know better. If it was any other plant, the way they look now I would cut them back and hope for regrowth. Will wait to see what you say.
Joni, yes, I didn't say that in my earlier note to you, but you can always TRY cutting them back, down to the stem, almost to the soil. Then, give them warmth, lukewarm water, mist them with lukewarm water frequently, and PRAY! If they do come back you will not see new growth for several months, but of course it is well worth a try, right???
Joni I'm afraid my news isn't going to be good. About 10 years ago I lost a whole bunch of African violets the very same way. We had an ice storm so I box them up to take them to where we had to go stay, but unfortunately they had already frozen before I had gotten to them. I did end up losing most of them. You can try bringing them into the warm house putting them in indirect sunlight and putting warm water inside them not hot water but warm water. See if that helps. You can spray them with a mister. using very lukewarm water,and just baby them the best that you can. It's very possible that it's too late for these violets, and I know how you feel because I've been through it myself. I had collected my plants over a number of years that I had about 14. sometimes you just cannot compete with mother nature.