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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - April 07, 2007

From: Kalamazoo, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding
Title: Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have about two inches of snow on the ground. My cardinal flowers, yellow coneflowers, and columbine and several others had already broken through the ground and were a healthy green. What will happen to them?

ANSWER:

Many native wildflowers blooming now spent the winter as rosettes and are pretty cold-hardy, but some flowers may freeze. Some nipping of new growth is likely to occur, but most native plants will simply resprout and do their thing. The 2 inches of snow may help to insulate the young plants if the temperatures fall considerably below 32 degrees.

 

 

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