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Unseasonably warm weather hazardous for early bloomers

The warm temperatures in February have caused some plants to reach a stage of budding and blooming that's unusual for this time of year.

Posted: Feb. 6, 2018 4:54 PM
Updated: Feb. 6, 2018 5:06 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - It has been unseasonably warm in the recent weeks, and according to local farms, it has woken up plants and told them to start blooming.

The unusually high temperatures for this time of year are provoking unusually early behavior in plants.

Caleb Johnson, the owner of the Johnson Brothers Garden Market, told KEZI 9 News that plants listen to the weather to instruct their behavior, and recently the weather has told them to get up and start blooming.

Johnson said he's been seeing budding and blooming in a few different trees, roses, and even blueberries.

He said this weather has brought in a crop of customers that he wasn't quite prepared for this time of year. Though he said they predicted something like this after a mild January, they don't have all the inventory necessary to serve the excess of customers right now. He knows since there's colder weather on the way, stocking up like that would end up being a waste.

"We just know that the customers will be wanting to come out when the weather is nice ready to do all of their planting projects. We don't have all the inventory," said Johnson.

Johnson said that since some of these plants bloomed early, they may be in trouble come that cold and rainy weather.

He said the flowering ornamental plants should be fine. They may lose their flowers to the cold, but that will only set the plant back, not kill it.

However, he said the fruiting plants, like their blueberries, are a cause for concern. He said those plants will lose their flowers (AKA their fruit) just like the other plants. In fruiting plants, the flower is the product.

Johnson advises anyone who farms or gardens to ignore their first instinct to trim off any damaged areas of the plant after a cold front.

"You want to just kind of let spring get to its normal kind of warm temperature, get past the cold because if you cut and then another freeze happens, you open up the plant for the potential for more damage," Johnson said.

He also suggested not fertilizing, even though the weather may be telling you to do so. He said he understands that it looks and feels like spring, but it's not, so you can't treat your plants like it is.

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