my lilies are about 5 inches tall in late april (4/22/12) due to a very mild winter and spring. Weather predictions are for heavy wet snow. Do I need to protect them from the anticipated snow fall? My variagated Iris are huge, but not in bloom, will they need protection as well?
Drought Smart Plants reply: In most cases, these types of plants have the ability to withstand even quite cold temperatures, but unfortunately, they may be damaged by heavy snow, which can break the soft new growth.
If you're sure that you will get lots of snow, I would put some kind of cloche or even just an upturned pot over them to protect them.
Luckily at this time of year, any snowfall is generally quick to melt, and is not associated with very cold temperatures. In most cases, those types of perennials are tough, and even if they take a bit of a beating, they'll spring back once the weather settles.
Use your best judgement; if you feel more secure in doing something pro-active, by all means protect them. If you're using some kind of dark pot, though, make sure you get it off as soon as possible, as the sun has some heat in it now, and could cook the plant underneath it.
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