OYO: A little love for cold-stressed plants

With the cold, wet weather we've had this spring, some of our plants might not be too happy. In this week's Owning Your Outdoors, our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, is here to tell us what we can do to help stressed plants bounce back from the cold.

When cold-stressed, geranium leaves become a purpleish-red color.

When a plant is cold or has minor frost damage, blooms will die off and you may notice some color or texture changes in the plant. The leaves of your geraniums may turn a purplish red, leaves of some other plans might start to turn white. Doug says that most plants will positively respond when the weather warms up, but in the meantime there are some things you can do to help it along.

If you have geraniums with a purplish or reddish color on the leaves, pinch or cut those leaves off. This will encourage the plant to respond more quickly and promote bushier, healthier growth.

If you have verbena or other plants with flower damage, trim the dead blossoms from the plant. With sunshine and some warmer weather, there will be a new blooms in just a matter of days.

Doug says his best and most important piece of advice is to simply be patient. Sometimes you can take a week or two for a plant to respond, especially if the weather is less than ideal.

Finally, after all the work is done and the soil has had a chance to dry out a bit, Doug suggests applying some fertilizer. Throw in some sunshine and warmer temperatures and your plants will be back to normal before you know it.

Click here for Doug's guide to planting and maintenance of annuals.



When cold-stressed, geranium leaves become a purpleish-red color.
Dead blossoms on a cold-stressed verbena plant.