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By Heidi Glaus

St. Louis (KSDK) -- NewsChannel 5's Heidi Glaus dug in to find out an answer for viewer Sue Briley. She wanted to know how the drought and extreme heat will effect our spring bulbs.

Heidi Glaus went to the Missouri Botanical Garden to find out the answer to this week's Hey Heidi question.

Unless you've been under a rock you realize it's been one super hot summer and apparently that's not completely bad news for your garden.

"Crape myrtles for instance, this summer are thriving because they're a deep south hot and dry plant," explains Jason Delaney, bulb specialist at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

So are elephant ears.

"This is the largest they've ever gotten, so the heat has helped them," Delaney goes on to say.

That's obviously not the case with all plants, but this garden guru on bulbs suggests looking at these little bumps in the road as an opportunity.

"Look not just at the plants that are suffering, but the plants that are doing really well to see what else can be grown to work with the climate we're given," Delaney adds.

He also says don't start digging things up just yet.

"A lot of plants, especially some of the trees and shrubs, their very natural response to extreme heat and drought is to drop their leaves to go into a dormancy. It saves them the energy of trying to maintain, they'll come back next year, they'll be reduced, they want be quite as vigorous, but they'll survive," Delaney points out.

And oddly enough, he has rather high hopes for spring.

"With the extreme heat we should, in theory, have one of the best springs ever for things like tulips, irises. crocuses, daffodils provided we get some moisture this fall," Delaney says.

Of course, if Mother Nature doesn't come through, you always have your watering can.

"So if it's extremely dry this far down, we've got to add some water to that site in order to initiate root growth," Delaney explains.

No need to plant more bulbs, just make sure the bulbs you plant are the proper depth, six to eight inches for most bulbs.

"And then, put the mulch back on there," Delaney says.

If you're using wood mulch it needs to be cultivated. Most importantly, be patient because no two years are alike.

If you have a question for Hey Heidi, email her at hglaus@ksdk.com.

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