Protecting Plants For The Cold

Dean's Nursery produces mainly magnolia flowers. Erin Dean, a co-owner of the nursery, says most of their plants aren't at risk for frosting because of the types of plants they are. Rooting plants are kept in any of the 82 greenhouses warmed by gas heaters.

"We check those heaters every probably twice a night. Once at 10, and again at 12. And we make sure those houses stay about forty-five degrees," said Dean. Employees started preparing the greenhouses for winter this month. Each greenhouse must be cleaned out, covered and painted. Larger plants are kept outside and only covered when necessary.

"Most of our materials are very cold hearty. As far as the larger materials, so we don't have to cover as much," she said. But smaller plants are at risk during the winter months. If a frost came when the plants weren't covered, the frost would burn the new growh on the leaves. And they would be completely destroyed.

"So, we get a crew and we just cover them. They're just huge sheets of ground cover and we just pull them over and that insulates the plants," said Dean. And after the plants are covered, they are sprayed with water. Even in freezing temperatures, the water actually helps the plants.

"It's always good to have everything really wet when it's gonna freeze because the water insulates the root system." Dean says if you own plants at your home, you could take many of the same precautions.

"I would suggest bringing most plants indoors. But it depends on the types of plants you own. Roses, you can leave them out, but you want to mulch them in." Dean says it only takes a little hard work to keep your plants blooming all year long.

Dean's Nursery specializes in Magnolia plants with more than 9 species on their property. The nursery has customers all the way from Mississippi to Maryland.

By Jennifer Holliman