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When Early Bloomers Freeze

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - When the winter’s been warm and then it suddenly snows – what happens to your plants? This year, a lot of plants started peeking out early. My friend Chris saw her witch hazels bloom two weeks earlier than last year, which is what many area arboretums noticed too. All kinds of bulbs have been up for weeks, getting ready for an early performance.

When it snows on your plants, many will just wait in the wings knowing the thaw will soon come to save them. That’s what most bulbs do and even if their leaves brown a bit from a cold spell, their flowers will usually be OK. But other plants that put out flowers early, can get caught center stage with their faces in the freezer – apricot or cherry blossoms or magnolia buds can get frostbitten fast, turn brown, and drop to the ground – it’s sad to see. But the plant itself will probably be fine for the future, even if the flower display is destroyed for this year.

Then again, thanks to the generally warmer winter weather, you got to see some things blooming earlier than ever – that’s just part of the game of gardening.

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