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Author Topic: I think my plants are confused . . .  (Read 752 times)
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« on: January 18, 2016, 12:07:28 AM »

I think my plants are confused .  .  .
December 22, 2015

December 2015 was unusually warm for Athens, Georgia.  Daytime high temperatures typically hover in the 53 - 56 degrees F range.  This year, I had temperatures in the mid-70s the week before Christmas.  I'm not complaining at all, and actually wish it would be this way all the time !  That would be awesome.  My plants, however, seemed to be confused.  My rose bushes normally resemble a cluster of twigs more than actual "shrubs," (my mom had beautiful rose bushes all over her yard, me .  .  . not so much).  Getting them to bloom at all has proven to be a challenge for me.  So you may understand my surprise when I saw the bloom shown below this morning.

The Japanese Camellia in my front yard is usually the first shrub to bloom as spring approaches.  The recent warmth has it confused as well.

The camellia normally wakes up in mid to late February.  Seeing multiple blooms in December is quite unusual.

The azaleas along my driveway normally awaken in March as the weather starts to get warmer.  The recent warmth has resulted in one single bloom on the azalea second in line from the street.

I bought a Persian Lilac earlier this fall at Lowe's that was on sale, (50% off !).  It blooms in the spring, meaning it was already well past the flowering season when I planted it.  I found this today as well.

Seeing a small cluster of flowers on it now was quite a surprise.  I just hope this doesn't screw up the spring flowering cycle.  

I also figured out the story behind my cactus plant I have in the dining room.

Not long after we moved to Athens in 2009, my ex-wife brought home a cactus that a coworker had given her.  It wasn't doing so well in the office, and she brought it home to see if she could save it.  I remember seeing flowers on it sporadically here and there as the years passed, but never with any consistency.  I learned recently that this is called a Thanksgiving Cactus, and is one of three varieties of "leaf cacti," along with a Christmas Cactus and Easter Cactus.  The different holiday designations represent the times they are supposed to bloom.  The flowering cycle is influenced by the shortening of the days and decrease in temperatures in some way that I don't quite fully understand yet.  All I know is that it's supposed to bloom during the Holiday Season, and appears to be ok.  This is great !

The weather has since returned to more seasonable temperatures.  I hope the unusual warmth and subsequent early awakening of some plants isn't going to curtail the spring flowering season .  .  .

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