Winter Storm: Will my outdoor plants survive?

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I've been asked by a lot of folks about their plants and gardens with this cold weather and incoming snow. Well some good and bad news -- though mostly it's good.

Your early blooming plants like daffodils, crocuses, and tulips all can handle the cold weather very easily. Being the first flowers of spring -- they're really hearty. In fact, the cut varieties of these flowers seem to even last longer when you put them in a vase with ice water.

Potted plants outside are going to have some issues. They're exposed on all sides to freezing cold air -- and if they're outside right now -- they're probably already dead. If you want to see if they're still alive -- don't shock them by bringing them inside. Put them in a semi-warm environment like a garage or shed.

Your garden bed itself is probably just fine with the incoming snow. Snow is actually insulating and can prevent plants from being exposed to the cold dry winter winds that can freeze the plant cells. Frozen water expands and will burst cell walls. They might look okay now -- but if you didn't protect your winter garden from the cold winds -- when things thaw, your plants can looks like a sad dead soupy mess.

Grasses are cold hearty -- they can handle cold and heat -- and just go dormant.

Colder outbreaks much later in the season would be more of a concern as blossoms from fruiting trees could be destroyed by frost and snow.

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