ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A freeze warning in the St. Louis area Tuesday night has amateur gardeners and professional growers on edge.
Bob Haegele of Haegele Nursery and Garden Center in south Saint Louis County says flowering plants and those with new leaves are the most vulnerable.
“The ones that are already opened up are going to be affected a lot more,” Haegele said.
Haegele also says Hostas and most annuals are at risk of being damaged if temperatures get down to the freezing mark. He said at-risk plants need to be brought inside or covered.
“You can cover it with plastic, but try not to let it touch the top of the plant if you can avoid doing that,” Haegele said. “Then make sure it goes all the way to the ground where that heat comes up from the soil and keeps it warmer in there.”
Local fruit growers say fruit trees bloomed so early this year that they’re past the vulnerable stage and would only be harmed if temperatures hit 28 degrees or below. But wineries are worried the cold temperatures could freeze the sap in grapevine and cause significant damage to the plants.
Some growers are setting up a system using water sprayers and fans to keep the sap from freezing, which is what happened in 2006 when many wineries lost most of their plants.