Frosty weather could mean slow growth for some plants

Plants and Frost

BRISTOL, Va. - This year's unpredictable weather could lead to suffering plants. We spoke to a local plant professional about which plants like the cold weather and what you can do to protect the ones that don't.

"Some of them are blooming now and of course when it gets really cold it kills them out and then you have problems with them trying to come back and they don't," said Sarah Young.

And when they don't return, it can become costly. "I worry because I have had plants ruined, wasted money, had to replant," said Young.

We spoke with Bob DeVault, the manager at Evergreen in Bristol, Virginia.  He told us it isn't the cold temperatures that affect the plants; it's the frost. "It actually burns it. The cold will burn it. It'll cause it to turn brown, it won't open up or bloom the way it should," said DeVault.

DeVault says flower bulbs in the ground are safe from the frost and says there are some flowers that can handle the cold better than others can. "Like tulips and crocus and daffodils, things like that and they're cold hearted. They're beginning to come up and they'll be fine you don't have to worry about them," he said.

However, if you have fruit trees or rose bushes, DeVault suggests covering them or even spraying them with water. "You can spray it with water really late in the afternoon, let it freeze overnight and the water freezing will act as an insulator," he said.

DeVault does tell us the plants in our region are used to the cool temperatures and snowy days and says for the first day of March, we're right on track. "Everything appears to be on the normal as far as our area goes," said DeVault.

DeVault also said that you shouldn't put plastic bags on the plants; this can cause more burning to the buds than helping. Instead, a sheet or frost cloth will work great.

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