I recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida and we planted a pair of bougainvilleas 20 months ago. They seemed to thrive last year even through the winter and are now about 5-6 feet tall. Then last week we had a rare freeze where the temperature dropped to approximately 20 degrees F. Now the plants have lost all their leaves. Is there any hope the the plants will survive and is there anything I can do to help at this point? We also had some injury to our mature hibiscus plants. Any help would be appreciated.
Bougainvilleas can recover from some frost damage as long as the roots were not frozen. Not much you can do at this point but wait and see . Wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area. See if some of the damaged branches recover. They may surprise you and resprout with new growth in the spring. Prune your bougainvillea in early spring, if you prune too early and get hit by another frost any new growth will be especially sensitive to frost. You can prune the plant by 1/2 or cut away and trim thin and leggy growth in the spring and begin fertilizing monthly once it starts growing. If another frost is eminent cover your plant with a blanket. Hibiscus are treated the same way. Hopefully, your plants will recover and return twice as beautiful.