Flowers

Sunday Gardener explains which flowers are tolerant to the cold

With spring here, it’s time to plant flowers. But as the risk of frost continues in Maryland through at least April and May, it’s best to start with cold-tolerant varieties.WBAL-TV 11’s Sunday Gardener visited Carrie Engel at Valley View Farms to learn which flowers are best to plant in the cooler days of early spring. They include:TulipsRanunculusEnglish daisiesPansies and violasDusty millerAlyssumPrimroseFiber optic grassPetuniaSurprisingly, many of these flowers can handle temperatures in the 30s, and even the 20s. Though Engel did recommend that you protect your flowers anytime the temperature drops below 20 degrees. Though that’s pretty unlikely after mid-April in Central Maryland, and by late April in the higher elevations.You can check the average freeze and frost dates by ZIP code on The National Gardening Association website.These dates are based on past data, but the actual last frost and freeze dates can vary widely each year, so check the forecast on the WBALTV.com weather page for the upcoming overnight low temperatures.If you’re planting the flowers in a pot, Engel said it’s important to use potting soil instead of garden soil because it provides better drainage. Adding a planter insert can also help with drainage, as well as lifting the plants higher in the pot without using as much soil.You can really get creative on which varieties you place together in a pot. Though Engel said the most interesting designs follow the formula: filler, thriller and spiller.Shorter plants like pansies make a good filler, while dusty miller grows taller, so it’s a thriller. And, plants that tend to grow outward like alyssum make good spillers as they hang over the edge of the pot.And, don’t be afraid to swap out individual plants as the weather changes. Engel said primrose will not last into summer, so as the weather warms, you can swap it out with petunia or begonia.But don’t throw it out because primrose is a perennial (a plant that grows for at least two years). Once it goes dormant in the summer, you can plant it in another part of your garden and enjoy it again next spring.For more gardening tips, watch Sunday Gardener on 11 News Sunday mornings at 9 am

With spring here, it’s time to plant flowers. But as the risk of frost continues in Maryland through at least April and May, it’s best to start with cold-tolerant varieties.

WBAL-TV 11’s Sunday Gardener visited Carrie Engel at Valley View Farms to learn which flowers are best to plant in the cooler days of early spring. They include:

  • Tulips
  • Ranunculus
  • English daisies
  • Pansies and Violas
  • Dusty miller
  • Alyssum
  • Primrose
  • fiber optic grass
  • Petunia

Surprisingly, many of these flowers can handle temperatures in the 30s, and even the 20s. Though Engel did recommend that you protect your flowers anytime the temperature drops below 20 degrees. Though that’s pretty unlikely after mid-April in Central Maryland, and by late April in the higher elevations.

You can check the average freeze and frost dates by ZIP code on The National Gardening Association website.

These dates are based on past data, but the actual last frost and freeze dates can vary widely each year, so check the forecast on the WBALTV.com weather page for the upcoming overnight low temperatures.

If you’re planting the flowers in a pot, Engel said it’s important to use potting soil instead of garden soil because it provides better drainage. Adding a planter insert can also help with drainage, as well as lifting the plants higher in the pot without using as much soil.

You can really get creative on which varieties you place together in a pot. Though Engel said the most interesting designs follow the formula: filler, thriller and spiller.

Shorter plants like pansies make a good filler, while dusty miller grows taller, so it’s a thriller. And, plants that tend to grow outward like alyssum make good spillers as they hang over the edge of the pot.

And, don’t be afraid to swap out individual plants as the weather changes. Engel said primrose will not last into summer, so as the weather warms, you can swap it out with petunia or begonia.

But don’t throw it out because primrose is a perennial (a plant that grows for at least two years). Once it goes dormant in the summer, you can plant it in another part of your garden and enjoy it again next spring.

For more gardening tips, watch Sunday Gardener on 11 News Sunday mornings at 9 am

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