Every year about this time I start worrying about my perennials and ornamental shrubs. Will they make it through the winter? The buds look like they’re about to break already!
Last year in late November, I posted about Star Magnolias in the neighborhood. They looked pregnant with new life and it was hard to believe they’d survive through the long, cold winter. Of course, they did survive and the blossoms were as spectacular as ever. (One of these days, I must plant Magnolias in my garden!)
This year, some plants and shrubs are showing premature signs of new growth, and it has me worried more than usual. When I look back at my posts about Magnolias from last year, I see that the temperatures were cold enough that I was uncomfortable outside snapping photos. Nothing could be further from the truth this year. Our Thanksgiving and Black Friday were among the mildest on record, with highs approaching 60 degrees.
While I’m not complaining about the mild weather for my own comfort, I’m worried that some plants might have a huge shock when the cold weather hits. They’re probably just fine, but the change will be tough on people and plants alike.
The Scallions and Irises always look like this. Their new growth is evergreen, and they simply take a long nap under the snow.
Old growth on the Hollyhocks simply hasn't shriveled up yet.
The Daylilies seem to have a little more new growth at the base than usual. Should I be worried?
My dear Hellebores seem way too far along for November! I repacked the Oak leaves around them. And learning from last year, I won’t remove the leaf mulch until April! The snow should provide a comfy blanket.
But the plant that really has me worried is the Hydrangea. This new leaf growth is a goner already. It sure is beautiful, though, in its premature bud break. Hopefully the rest of the shrub will make it through unscathed.
I can’t say these two sources comforted me much, but they do offer great information on plant cold-hardiness: