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Wiggins nursery urges residents to protect plants ahead of dropping temperatures

Jack's Plant and Patio Manager is keeping a close eye on the weather the next few days.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 8:15 PM CST
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WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - As people and pets brace for the cold weather in South Mississippi, so are nurseries. Experts said it’s important to know which plants to bring inside to avoid running the risk of them dying.

“We’ve become weather forecasters for sure,” said Jack’s Plant and Patio manager Evan Cartledge.

Cartledge has been keeping a close eye on falling temperatures. He knows as it drops, their greenhouse will start to fill up.

“We can regulate the temperature in there so we will keep it at sixty degrees, just to have a room temperature in there that feels good for the plants,” he said.

Plants have different tendencies when it comes to the cold. Flowering plants should be brought in for protection. Other plants, like pansies, do like the cold. But when the temperature drops below freezing, even those should be closely monitored and at least, covered.

“You’ve got the dormant ones that are kind of like roses right now,” Cartledge said. “Camellias and abelias will flower in the spring. You can keep those out, and they need it to get those spring flowers.”

If fruit trees are budding right now, botanists recommend getting them covered or inside. If they aren’t, they’re safe to withstand Mother Nature’s punch. But even if the temperature is above freezing, wind chill is another factor to keep in mind.

“Wind is going to be very important,” Cartledge added. “If that wind is kicking like it has been, you probably want to go ahead and pull them in, even if it is above freezing, when it drops below that 40-degree level. A lot of those like the pansies do like the cold, but you have to watch the rain. If its wet and rainy, they don’t like that, so you do want to be wary of that.”

With plants like elephant ears that are too large to bring inside, Cartledge recommends using plastic to tie around the bottom to keep in warm air. Plant experts say anything wild like oak, maple, or a camellia tree can stay out. Those plants tend to like the cold.

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