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With cold night ahead, flowers should be OK, summer plants in danger

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With frost in the forecast tonight and the Azalea Garden Tour around the corner, many gardeners may be worried. So we turned to an expert to find out what you can do and which plants need some extra love.

A warm winter and early spring already meant the azaleas would probably not be in their full glory this week. Now add in a cold snap.

Your plants will feel it, but Airlie Gardens Director Jim McDaniel says he's not worried about flowers.

"I'm more worried about our summer plants that have started to put their summer growth out, and that's the real tender stuff we should worry about," McDaniel said.

But if you're still worried about your flowers, play it safe and turn on the sprinklers now.

"What that will do is create a micro climate, and because when moisture begins to evaporate, it's coming off at a temperature which will sort of help raise the ambient temperature in the garden," McDaniel said.

He says move potted plants inside and throw some extra mulch to protect ground plants. You can even cover garden beds with burlap. But be careful. Too much pressure or plastic can do as much damage as a severe frost.

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