breaking news

Man stabbed in the neck in Springfield; 2nd stabbing in city tonight

Will warm winter hurt plants?


There has been a lot of talk about the weather and how it might be affecting plants. If you have been on social media you may have seen photos of roses and other plants in bloom in December.

While this is not unusual, we are seeing more this season because of the extended warmer weather. And it’s not a cause for panic.

Trees and shrubs that have been blooming sporadically set their buds for this spring late last summer. Those buds that bloomed recently won’t bloom again but there is a good chance that you will still see ample bloom.

What I have observed is that it really depends on the specific location of the plant and the temperature. For instance, a friend of mine lives in the city and has had daffodils and tulips breaking through as well as roses still in bloom.

I live in the county and have a very open exposure and have no tulips and daffodils peeking through and nothing in bloom.

And again, I emphasize sporadic blooming. I haven’t seen photos of plants that are in full spring bloom; most of them have a few blossoms open.

Those flower buds that have opened won’t bloom again but hopefully there are still more buds on the plant for spring bloom.

Therefore, if you had a full show of blooms on any trees or shrubs this December, you likely won’t see much in the way of a spring show. But there is always the next year!

The good news has been in the vegetable gardens. Those who have kale, chard and other plants that tolerate cooler temperatures harvested through the holidays.

Spring-blooming bulbs like daffodils, crocus, and others come up early quite often, though we don’t usually see them this early.

Some want to mulch over them to protect the foliage but this actually keeps the soil warm and may encourage growth. Others want to cover and protect them from injury. This is a lot of work but it’s up to you!

I just leave mine alone and let Mother Nature take her course. If the foliage is damaged, it can be cut off so that the plants don’t appear ragged.

The major concern for plant damage is temperature extremes. Really cold temperatures following a really warm spell can cause damage to flower and foliage buds.

There are so many variables at play that it’s really hard to predict winter and cold injury.

The bottom line is that there is really nothing you can do to prevent what’s happening in the garden due to the weather. We may or we may not see plant damage due to the extended warm spell. We just have to wait and see.

Pamela Corle-Bennett is the state master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio State University Extension. Contact her by email at bennett.27@osu.edu.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Springfield’s Rocking Horse gets $50,000 to help kids impacted by drugs
Springfield’s Rocking Horse gets $50,000 to help kids impacted by drugs

A Springfield medical health center will receive new money to help local kids who have lost a parent to drugs. CVS Health distributed a $50,000 grant to Rocking Horse Community Health Center Friday morning that will be used to help Clark County children who have been impacted the most by the opioid epidemic. The money will also go to help children...
CHEERS! The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest mugs are a coveted collectible
CHEERS! The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest mugs are a coveted collectible

Handcrafted mugs created by regional potters have been a sought-after collectible since Oktoberfest at the Dayton Art Institute began in the 1970s.  The earliest mug in the DAI’s collection, from 1974, is made from glass and features a printed DAI logo. In the years following the mugs were mass produced until the idea to use local potters...
What cats see when they look in the mirror
What cats see when they look in the mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Abby, our 16-year old cat, thinks she is. When Abby could no longer jump up on the kitchen counter to eat from her bowl, we searched for a place she could easily reach but Teddy, our Lab, could not. We placed the queen bee’s bowl in front of a large mirror on the master bathroom&rsquo...
Are household disinfectants making kids overweight? Study finds possible link
Are household disinfectants making kids overweight? Study finds possible link

Obesity affects nearly 1 in 6 children in the United States, according to new data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State of Obesity report. And new findings from the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveal there may be more contributing to that stat than overeating. Overweight children are approximately five times more...
Seven-Day Menu Planner
Seven-Day Menu Planner

9/23 Family Sunday Enjoy family day with your own Roast Chicken (5 to 7 pounds), mashed potatoes, gravy, peas with pearl onions (from frozen) and mixed greens. For dessert, drizzle creme fraiche or half-and-half over bread pudding. Plan ahead: Save...
More Stories