Cold Snap: Naples Botanical Garden prepares for chilly temps

Cold Snap: Naples Botanical Garden prepares for chilly temps

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Jan 3, 2012

NAPLES- While homeowners might throw some blankets over the plants in their yard, The Naples Botanical Garden is facing a much bigger challenge housing thousands of plants and flowers.

"In the past freezes, we've had significant damage to a number of our tropical palms. You can see some damage in the distance to some Atalaya palms," said Brian Galligan, Director of Horticulture.

You can still see the frost damage on these palms at the Naples Botanical Garden from a freeze nearly 2 years ago.

"This plant here, Burle Marx Philodendron, is one of the plants we covered extensively last year. We put 30,000 square feet of frost cloth," said Galligan.

So far this winter, mother nature has been gentle, but on Tuesday night temperatures are expected to dip into the 30s meaning some of the plants here need a warm blanket.

"We actually staple the cloth into the ground to keep any heat trapped within," said Galligan.

In the past, the Botanical Garden has covered a tremendous amount of plants and flowers using frost blankets. On Tuesday, employees are covering about 50 of the most costly and difficult to replace plants.

"If the frost doesn't come, there could be a lot of damage done by the cloth to the plant as well as people saying I didn't come here to see a covered garden so sometimes we just risk it."

The Botanical Garden uses a huge data base where they track each type of plant or flower and how they've handled the cold in the past. They use that system to determine which plants they cover.

Frost blankets will be removed around 8am Wednesday morning.

Julie Salomone
Fox 4