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Mild Weather Causing Early Bloom In Some Perennials

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Perennials like crocuses are designed to survive early thaws, like the one the D.C. area is experiencing.
Carrie Eberhardt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjrphotos/5575332297/
Perennials like crocuses are designed to survive early thaws, like the one the D.C. area is experiencing.

With temperatures in the region rising to the mid-60s for the third day in a row, you might find that your backyard perennials are confusing the mild weather with an early spring.

About this time back in 2010 we were just 48-hours away the 20 to 35 inches of blizzard conditions dubbed  "Snowmageddon." Two years later, it almost feels like spring, and that's causing certain perennial blooms to begin poking green shoots through the soil like it was May. 

Margaret Pooler a research geneticist with the National Arboretum says she's not surprised: "What we're seeing with some of these plants coming up and breaking dormancy is totally natural, based on this unusual weather that we're having this year." 

But, it is February and if we get hit with another storm, what then?

"Some of the more sensitive plants might get some freeze damage or get cold stress depending on how long the cold spell lasts," says Pooler.

If it does snow, Pooler says perennials like crocuses are designed to bloom early and should be just fine.


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