We had a long stretch of icy cold weather in Seattle this early December. High temperatures of 28, 30, and the like and several lows of 18, 22, and so on. It’s been difficult. My aucuba japonica looks like I poisoned it on purpose. It’s a baby still, with one main stalk of leaves. They have completely wilted down. My fatsia japonica tipped over and is struggling to hold on, struggling to cope with all of this ice on its big tender leaves (it was just in bloom a few weeks ago!). And lastly, my two newly planted daphnes from last summer are sad, sad, sad.
I covered all of these with light white towels and sheets. But the Midwest-style weather is too much for them. They no likey the severe frost! They no likey the exposed site. They no likey me! I felt rather horrible about it. My Daphne x houtteana ‘February Plum,’ with its black-purple leaves looks pathetic. Its lower leaves weren’t much to begin with but now with the cold, many have fallen away and the little mop-tops at its branches’ ends are wilted and sad.
It was such a cool plant in July! The leaves emerge green and fade to dark purple. But now it’s on its own and despite my meager towel protection, it’s still looking sickly. I guess it’ll just have to let me know in February or March, whether it wants to shut down all living systems or has enough energy to sprout new foliage and return to its whorled glory from earlier this year.