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I Live In Disaster Area Where All My Garden Evergreens,…

Melanie Asked

I live in disaster area where all my garden evergreens, etc., were immersed in salt water when the bay and ocean overflowed. They are still brown and look half dead. Is there any miracle drug for plants, any special remedy you can reccommend to help us bring them back to life?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Melanie in New York: I am sorry for all that you have been through and I wish I could tell you that your plants will pull through and be green and lush in no time, but the reality is that only time will tell. As for perennials, bulbs, ornamental grasses, and deciduous trees/shrubs, we will have to wait until later in the spring to see how they fared. Hopefully you will not have too much loss but it all depends on the specific plant in your garden and how much salt they were exposed to; some plant species are more tolerant of higher levels of salt than others. As for your evergreens, if you can already see the damage that has been done this is not encouraging. In most cases once the foliage on an evergreen turns brown, they do not put on new growth to replace the lost. Without knowing specifics in terms of plant species or being able to see your evergreens I can’t give you a definitive answer. It would be best to have a certified arborist come out and take a look at your landscape. The horticulture agents or Master Gardeners at the Kings County Cooperative Extension Service will be a good source for local certified arborist recommendations. You can visit their Web site at The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens would also be a reliable source. Visit them at It is important that you hire a certified arborist as opposed to someone who is a self-proclaimed arborist. As the warm weather approaches I hope you see a lot of new growth on your plants!

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