Annuals and Cold Weather

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Annuals and Cold Weather
Mon, 06-02-2008 - 9:23pm

I'm in southeast Michigan where the weather has been, to say the least, erratic. We had several early weeks of warm weather and I planted a TON of annuals on Mother's Day weekend. Then we had really cold weather, going down to the 40s at night, and two actual light frosts.

Should I just give up the ghost and replant/replace the annuals? How long should I wait, and what should I look for to see if they are permanently stunted? Particularly wave petunias and verbena - the geraniums seem OK so far.

I'm almost 95% perennials but did lots of annuals this year because of a fundraiser I'm hosting at my house later this month and wanted a lot of immediate/constant color. Any advice? Should I go ahead and replace or wait, and if so, how long/

Thanks for any help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Tue, 06-03-2008 - 2:09am

If you think the frost is over you could give them a good haircut and wait and see if they send out any new life.

For instant color you could get pots of flowers and place them strategically around your yard. Another thing I have done for weddings, when weather has smacked the garden, was go buy plants in full bloom from the nursery and planted pot and all in the ground so the plants don't get stressed. Later after the event

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Tue, 06-03-2008 - 9:56pm

Thanks - I will get the extra pots and plunk them in to cover some of the bare spots. If I trim the trim the annuals I already planted, how long should I give them before I decide to yank them? The event is on the 21st of this month. I'm not sure I have enough time to see if they revive.

Gotta tell you, this is really why I prefer perennials!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 8:54pm

Hey Susan!

I'm from West MI just south of Grand Rapids and feel your pain! It sure has been crazy weather these past few months - and a very slow start to spring/summer. I know my tulips which are next to the front porch and garage got cut off early because of it! I was so bummed! Everything was looking so promising and the dafs I put in last fall did so well just to have the tulips snapped off right before they bloomed. I still got some, just not as beautiful as the year before.

I would give them until the 14th - if you can wait that long, and see how they do, other wise I guess I would be spending the 15th replanting! I would want to get them in at least a week before though so they have time to bounch back from any possible transplant shock. I will say I buy my Petunias every year, and they are usually pretty hardy, but with frost you just never know some times!

You should be safe from this point forward - I usually wait until June to start planting out doors because May is so unpredicitable. Even the farmers around me wait to work the fields until late May so I usually take a cue from them.

GL - hope you can get it all to work out!