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Gardeners Dealing with Dead Perennials After Long, Cold Winter

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DUBUQUE, Iowa — Many people are spending cash to replace their gardens after perennial plants didn’t survive the harsh winter.

Even as signs of summer surround Steve’s Ace Hardware and Garden Center, evidence of winter’s wrath remains.

Shopper Keith Unangst said, “It’s disappointing when you lose them, because you have to replace them.”

The garden center has been busy with people who weren’t expecting to replace perennials.

Steve’s Ace manager Sara Carpenter said, “A lot of people are doing substantial amounts of replanting.”

That includes the Smialeck family, which is finally catching up after dealing with dead plants.

Bob Smialeck said, “We lost three knock out rose plants. We had some little grass plants. We lost 5 of those.”

Carpenter says the winter killed a lot of knock out roses. She says if you lost those, you’re probably out of luck. But there is still hope for other plants and flowers.

“For example: hibiscus, butterfly bush. Those are both plants that within the last week just starting showing subtle signs of growth,” said Carpenter.

There’s also an option for gardeners who aren’t quite ready to call it quits with their favorite flower.

“I usually suggest using something like a root and grow, which is a fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus. It’s going to help a plant overcome stress, “said Carpenter.

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