AKRON, Ohio - If you have hanging flower baskets set out for the season, or annuals planted in the ground, you may want to consider protecting them for at least one more night.
Lisa Graf, owner of Graf Growers in Akron, is keeping a close eye on the forecast, which could put unprotected flowers and plants at risk for cold or frost damage.
"If it's going to be under 40 and still clear skies, it could dip in frost quite quickly and we generally recommend protecting," Graf said.
She suggests placing hanging baskets and potted plants in the garage or inside the home when temperatures turn unseasonably cold.
Her business on White Pond Drive took several measures to protect thousands of flowers and plants on Sunday evening, and Graft expects to take similar steps Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
Workers will bring at-risk plants inside greenhouses, and tents. Portable heaters will provide additional warmth.
Certain flowers and plants are more susceptible to the cold, including new guinea impatiens and sweet potato vine, which is often used in hanging baskets.
"Almost always, they'll turn black and they'll look nasty. You can cut them and they'll grow out of it, but it doesn't take a frost to hurt a sweet potato vine, just a cold night," Graf said.
For annuals or anything tropical planted in the ground, Graf suggested building a tent over the flowers.
She sticks stakes around the flowers and then places an old bed sheet on top of the stakes to keep the heat in and the frost off the plants.
"It makes a huge difference," she said.
In general, perennials, shrubs and trees don't need to be covered. The good news is the forecast is expected to warm up the rest of the week.