Will sprouting plants survive the snow? We asked an expert

dozens of green tulip leaves and red stems sprout from straw covered soil
Tulips began sprouting early across much of Minnesota, including at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, after much of the state saw it's warmest winter on record.
Lily Smith | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

After an early wakeup call, it’s back to bed for budding shrubs and bulbs — at least for a week or so, as two systems threaten to bring a blanket of snow and colder temperatures to much of the state.

But Erin Buchholz says not to worry.

She’s a plant specialist with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and says most plants that have started sprouting should rebound after the cold snap.

“The leaves that are already exposed might be singed a bit from these extreme cold temperatures, but in most cases those plants will actually send out new growth once the temperature has stabilized and spring is actually here,” Buchholz said.

If at-home gardeners want to take precautions, Buchholz said you can try covering plants with a bedsheet or a tablecloth to help keep them stable until it warms up again.

The National Weather Service is forecasting 2 to 5 inches of snow for central and southern Minnesota overnight Thursday. Heavier snow — more than 6 inches is likely for much of southern Minnesota — is expected Sunday through Tuesday, followed by a warmup later in the week.

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