Expert: Cold could stunt budding plants


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Just as flowers started to bloom and trees budded, you probably thought we were out of the woods.  But that is obviously not the case.  As you’ve heard, our meteorologists are calling for cold and snow.  There are some simple things you can do to protect things like those lovely daffodils that just bloomed in your front yard.  Experts at the Purdue Extension office and here at Arbor Farms show us how.

“Gardners here in Indiana are probably the most resilient and hopeful people that I know because every year is different, and so this year is not going to change,” Purdue Extension Educator Ricky Kemery said.

Instead of complaining about the cold temperatures and snow, experts say you need to get outside and cover your plants.

“The flowering bulbs that are already up and have flowers could get damaged by the frost. It would cause the flowers to turn brown on the edges or the whole flower to turn brown,” Amy Oliver at Arbor Farms explained, “Your flower production may be a little less this year if some of these get harmed from the frost.”

Amy Oliver at Arbor Farms on Coldwater Road says you should use a sheet to cover plants not plastic.

“You need something that is breathable and the plastic can get even colder and if it lays on top of the flowers it can cause them to burn and to brown up even more.”

Oliver says you shouldn’t be worried about your evergreen shrubs or trees.  They’re hearty enough to battle through the cold weather.  Oliver suggests though you cover any flowering plants and anything with new growth on it.

Purdue Extension Educator Ricky Kemery says once it warms back up you need to check your perennials for something many are calling a phenomenon.

“When you plant a perennial there is not a lot of roots on it and sometimes when you get this difference between thawed ground and then it freezes again the plant can litteraly almost pop out of the ground. You need to be aware of that and check to make sure that the plant didn’t pop out of the ground because then you have exposed roots and the plant will do quite poorly,” Kemery said.

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