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Mr. Smarty Plants - Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm

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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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