As climate change wreaks havoc on spring weather, be prepared to protect your tender spring plants.
While April showers bring May flowers, the sudden overnight frosts and relentless downpours could kill your plants well before May 1st.
How Cold Weather Affects Plants in a Garden or Landscape
Property managers and homeowners need to worry about overnight frosts, spring snows, and harsh downpours, which all damage your landscape.
Ornamental trees, such as cherry, redbud, tulip magnolias, and dogwoods, are blooming now. You also have landscape flowers blooming, such as Virginia bluebells, tulips, and weigela.
Some blooms will show signs of frost damage if nighttime temperatures drop into the 20s or 30s. For example, tulip magnolias and cherry trees can suffer from frost or freeze when their blooms turn brown and fall off the trees earlier than usual.
However, other spring-flowering trees can handle an occasional night or two with temperatures dipping into the 30s. For example, ornamental cherry trees, eastern redbuds, and crabapple trees dodge any extensive damage as long as nighttime temperatures don’t plummet into the 20s.
Also, daffodils, tulips, and Virginia bluebells can handle cold temperatures because they’re adapted to it.
While spring allergy sufferers will rejoice when freezing temperatures have followed a warm spell because tight flower buds won’t release pollen. However, trees will release pollen if that freeze or frost occurs after the flowers have opened up.
According to an article from Virginia Tech, these unpredictable weather patterns—going from warm, sunny weather to rainy, cold weather—require extra attention to protect tender perennials.
You’ll also need to wait to put out warm season plants, such as marigolds, impatiens, and petunias until the danger of frost is over, which is typically on April 9th.
You can mitigate frost damage on your flowering plants by covering them with a bed sheet or a plastic cover. Also, a new mulch application will keep tree roots and other plant roots protected from frost heave in early spring.
Too Many April Showers Lead to Root Rot, Leaning Trees, and Other Plant Failures in May
Typically, spring and fall bring steady rain needed to keep Richmond, VA plants healthy. And most gardening articles focus on drought conditions and not on downpours. However, too much rain causes flooding and overflowing downspouts that wash away mulch and soil.
Heavy downpours and constant soggy soil cause the following landscape problems:
- Root rot
- Leaf rot
- Leaning trees
- Poor yard drainage
- Early tree leaf drop
- Pine trees losing their needles
- Lawn fungal diseases
- Wet “feet,” meaning drought-tolerant plants, such as lavender, lamb’s ear, and dianthus (carnations and sweet Williams), sit in soggy water that will eventually kill these plants.
You can lessen the effects of severe flooding and heavy downpours with these landscaping solutions:
- Use raised beds that prevent soil and mulch from washing away
- Clean up any mulched areas that have piled up against a tree (2” to 3” of wet mulch laying against tree bark can kill it)
- Fix your yard drainage areas with swales, dry creek beds, French drains, and rain gardens
- Remove any fungus or mushrooms you see growing on your mulch or the lawn
- Stake small trees that are leaning after a heavy downpour
- Call an arborist for any large, mature trees leaning precariously.
How BCLS Landscape Services Solves Your Landscaping Problems
At BCLS Landscape Services, we provide residential and commercial landscape services. You need us if you have any frost-damaged plants or a yard drainage problem.
We also provide yard drainage solutions that move water away from your home or building. Additionally, we design and build swales, dry creek beds, and rain gardens that collect excess water—especially in poor drainage areas.
When you hire BCLS Landscape Service for your commercial property needs, you can be confident that we’ll make you a priority.
We provide the following landscape management services for commercial properties:
- Aeration and Over-Seeding
- Floriculture and Seasonal Color
- Irrigation Services
- Leaf Removal
- Mulch Installation
- Site Policing
- Snow & Ice Removal
- Spring Property Preparation
- Tree and Shrub Care
- Tree and Shrub Pruning
- Turf Grass Management
BCLS Landscape Service’s headquarters is in Ashland, VA; we also have offices in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads, VA. We serve the following commercial properties:
- Multi-family properties
- Offices, stand-alone and office parks
- Retail centers and shopping malls
- Institutional properties
- Industrial properties.
Book your appointment with us to solve your frost-injured plant issues or repair your poor drainage areas. Contact us today by calling 804-752-0052 or filling out our contact form.
BCLS Landscape Services provides property care to residential and commercial properties throughout Richmond and Central Virginia.
LewisGinter.org, April Blooms.