The cold snap threatens your budding outdoor plants. Experts at Johnson's Florist and Garden Centers showed WUSA9 how to prepare so your garden survives the chill and snow.

Add a fine, shredded hardwood bark mulch. The added layer helps to keep cold air out. Anything below 40 degrees Fahrenheit will damage buds.

"You definitely want to make sure that you protect anything that has new growth. Mulch over any of the tender growth that's coming up with a good mulch," said John Williams, GM at Johnson's.

To protect your plants from falling snow, build a cover using plant stakes. Plant stakes are made of metal with plastic covering over them. They come in varying lengths.

1. Push three plant stakes in the ground to make a teepee around your plant.
2. Tie firmly at the top.
3. Cover the structure with burlap or bed sheet.
4. Secure the sheet at the bottom with soil, stones or furniture.

Now your plant will stay protected.

"We wouldn't recommend using plastic [sheet], because it traps moisture underneath," said Susan Burke, Bedding Coordinator at Johnson's.

"A [bed]sheet will let some air go through. The burlap's even better because it lets more air go through," Burke added.

Bill Janicki, Nursery worker at Johnson's Florist and Garden Centers   

For protecting larger flower beds, add more stakes in the ground around the plants. Then, gently add a few sheets of newspaper over your garden. Again, cover the area with burlap or bedsheet.

The covering should stay on for several days until the cold snap ends. Then the burlap and stakes can be stored until the next use during cold weather.