Missouri Botanical Garden shares secrets to protect plants amid drastic weather swings

ST. LOUIS – The cold weather can be a nightmare for many gardeners and given the weather we experience in Missouri and Illinois, one day it’s hot, the next day it’s cold. The Missouri Botanical Garden has plant experts and they explain what they do to keep sensitive plants alive in a time like this.

This is one place you’ll find the exception of perfectly blooming flowers during the springtime. The garden staff is hard at work keeping their plants safe when cold snaps of air become the norm in the overnight hours during spring.

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“When you come to the garden, you’ll see all these beautiful blooms and you think, Oh, they must be protecting them from these cold snaps but for the most part, they’re going to be just fine. They’re hardy plants that are adapted to these swings in temperature so for the most part, they’re not going to suffer horrible damage. It’s going to be more cosmetic damage,” said Justine Kandra, Horticulturist with Missouri Botanical Garden.

For those plants that suffer far more than cosmetic damage, they have to cover them up.

“We will use a frost cloth. It’s just a thin fabric used to cover the plants and that will protect them when we get the freezing temperatures,” said Kandra.

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As the weather transitions and we welcome more mild days through the month of March into April and beyond, the garden’s hours have adjusted for visitors who want to extend their stay.

“Throughout the year, we usually close at 5 p.m., but during the spring and summer, there’s a lot in bloom; there’s a lot that people want to see. And not always everyone can make it during the day with work getting off at 5 or 6, we want to give people a little extra time to come enjoy the garden. So now through September 26th, we will be open on Thursdays until  8 p.m.,” said Jessika Eidson, public information officer with Missouri Botanical Garden.

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