Questions budding about winter’s effect on Indiana landscape

(WISH Photo/Drew Blair)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – After a dose of fair weather, the past winter season is something all of central Indiana might soon forget.

However, outdoor experts have said some of the effects of the cold and snow are still to be seen.

Business has been blossoming at garden centers like Sullivan Hardware on North Keystone Avenue in Indianapolis as Hoosiers enter the spring planting and landscaping season.

Owner Pat Sullivan said while many winters seem harsh in Indiana, his customers seem more emotionally ready to shop for the outdoors than in previous years. Unfortunately, he said the work in store may be more intensive than some realize.

“There are so many things that have died; a lot of rose bushes that have died, boxwood with a lot of damage, hollies with a lot of damage,” Sullivan said.

The winter’s wrath has continued to wear on central Indiana, so has a three-year long drought according to Sullivan. He suggests simple tips to help novice gardeners understand how much work might be ahead.

“If there’s some life to [a plant], we always recommend a scratch test. You put your fingernail in the bark and kind of pull it back. If it’s green underneath, it’s generally alive. Some things are more obvious; if there’s no green wood on the roses, the further you cut back, they’re goners,” he said.

May 10 has been considered Indiana’s frost-free day when people can be confident vulnerable plants will survive spring. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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