WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Mild Weather Causing Early Bloom In Some Perennials

Play associated audio
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.


'Heat And Light' Digs For The Soul Of Coal Country

Jennifer Haigh grew up in small town Pennsylvania, where jobs disappeared when coal mines closed. Her new novel explores the changes that mining — and now fracking — has brought to nearby communities.

Frozen Food Fears: 4 Things To Know About The Listeria Recall

The FDA issued a massive recall of frozen fruits and vegetables this week. Here's what you need to know about the nasty bug that's causing all the problems.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich Suspends Presidential Campaign

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the final remaining opponent to Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race, is expected to drop his bid Wednesday. That makes Donald Trump the apparent Republican nominee.

After A Long Day At The Computer Do You Have A Medical Problem?

You're not alone if you feel a sting in your eyes and have blurry vision and neck pain after sitting in front of your computer for hours. But is there a name for your ailment?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.