University of Maryland Extension

Damage to Flowers - Trees and Shrubs

freeze damage magnolia
Photo: Freeze damaged Magnolia blossoms

Back to Common Problems - Trees and Shrubs

Factors that can cause blasted, damaged, or dropped blossoms include environmental stresses and pesticides.

  • Environmental stresses that may damage flowers are drought, frost or freeze damage of flower buds or blossoms. Late winter sun can prematurely stimulate the opening of flowers, killing them in freezing night temperatures. Late frosts or freezing temperatures in the spring damage opened flowers. Cold damaged flowers initially appear water-soaked and eventually turn brown and die.
  • Improper pesticide use can damage or kill flowers. Application of pesticides at improper temperatures (too high or too low) can damage flowers. Always follow label directions for timing and rates.
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