Will El Niño damage plants and flowers?

Harry Kale, general manager of Tabor Landscaping, said any damage to plants from the changing weather should be minor


NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – The World Meteorological Organization said Thursday that El Nino, a warming of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide, has passed its peak. But experts also caution that it will take months before the changes affect the U.S.

With El Nino still strong, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has forecast a spring that is wetter than normal. The Valley has seen variations in weather due to El Nino, but what effect does this have on gardens and plants?

Harry Kale, general manager of Tabor Landscaping in North Lima, said plants tend to acclimate to weather changes, but with temperatures quickly changing from warm to cold to hot again, there could be damage to your plants in the spring.

He said there is no need to fear, however.

“There will be some winter burn on your evergreens and that. It will grow out,” he said. “A lot of people, if it lasts, if it’s too severe, you can prune it out. But, most of the time it will just grow out itself. It really doesn’t hurt them that much.”

With warmer temperatures in December, many plants started blooming early. Kale said that is another issue that many landscapers shouldn’t worry about.

“Your pansies, violas and stuff will actually bloom through the snow. They’re just a hardy plant, so, they’ll take care of themselves,” he said.

Kale said some of his plants are even beginning to flourish at his home.

“As long as you mulched over heavy, you put the mulch on them, even at home, my daffodils are up and with the snow, it does insulate them,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt them that much, because we haven’t really had sub zero temperatures.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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