Local/State

Spring plants popping up in warm winter weather

Friday, February 03, 2012

The warm temperatures have made this winter feel more like spring. And we're not the only ones confused by the unusual season.

Plants and flowers are blooming earlier than they have in years.

The calendar says it's winter, and earlier this week Punxsuntawney Phil emerged from his hole in the ground and declared six more weeks of winter.

Try explaining that to the flowers growing in Anthony Aiello's garden. They are already on a fast track to spring.

"Given how warm it's been, it's not that surprising," said Aiello.

Aiello says seven different kinds of plants are in flower; plants that are two weeks to a month early are popping up now.

"We've been here for 11 years," said Aiello. "This just seems much warmer than ever."

D

affodils, Snow Drops, Witch Hazel and Hello Bores to name a few are starting to wake up, and with the warmer than normal weather and spring-like sunshine, these over eager buds are staying up.

Patty Schrieber is with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. She says if there is a sudden cold snap, some plants pushing up from the ground early may suffer a little damage, but the growing process continues.

"If anyone has daffodils, for instance, that are blooming now, they are not going to re-bloom. It is a once and done kind of thing," said Schrieber.

And unless the weather pattern changes, budding foliage and flowers bursting with fragrance just may be the norm in a not so normal winter.

Here are a few gardening tips for the ups and downs of our winter season:
" Water your plants even in the winter.
" Make sure enough water gets to the roots.
" Protect your perennials
" Keep ice from forming underneath the soil

And enjoy the mild weather, because you never know when it may change.

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pennsylvania, local/state, melissa magee
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