Weather Patterns (Not the Calendar) Affect When Plants Break Dormancy

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    The plants in our gardens can be fickle. So fickle, it is difficult to determine what is keeping them awake or putting them to sleep. At High Prairie Outdoors, we often get questions from our clients about plant dormancy, and what to expect with the coming frosts and later warm seasons. Here, we will discuss weather patterns, and break down what to expect as the calendar pages begin to change in Kansas.

    Weather Patterns and Your Plants

    Here in Kansas, we are fortunate enough to experience four distinct seasons, although our winters are generally mild. As the weather patterns fluctuate from fall to winter and again in spring and summer, the plants in your garden will change their dormancy habits.

    Many people believe that plants rely on the same calendar as humans to plan their slumbers, but this simply isn’t true. The greenery in your garden is influenced not by the day of the month, but by the weather patterns Kansas is experiencing at those times.

    A prime example of this is the long wait many gardeners have for their prize blooms to appear in the Spring. If Spring kicks off with plenty of sunshine, you may begin to worry that something has happened to your would-be plants. However, before you panic, consider the amount of water your flower beds have been getting. If it is warm but dry, your plants may be waiting on the rain to jar them from dormancy. Similarly, it could be the timing of that sunshine causing flowers to oversleep. If days are still short and flower beds aren’t seeing enough sunlight, your garden might be tricked into thinking winter is still lurking about.

    Different Schedules for Different Plants

    While planning your spring garden, it is important to remember that not all Spring blooms will burst forth at the same time simply because they are designed to bloom later. A good example of this can be seen with plants like Dodecatheon, which open early while the Winter chill is still descending into Spring warmth. You see, it isn’t so much the season itself, but the weather patterns which inspire these plants to grow.

    Testing Your Plants

    If you’re curious to know about your plants and their health, there are some you can test. Shrubbery and bushes have an easy tell when they are ready to show their Spring best. Cracking off a twig amongst the shrub will tell you whether your plant is dead or alive. A dry brittle branch is a sign that winter was too harsh for your bush to weather. A green and springy branch is a sign that your shrub will be back to its lush green self soon.

    Prepare Early with a Greenhouse

    If you are concerned that your early Spring garden will be too bare to share with friends and neighbors, consider investing in a greenhouse. The wonderful thing about a hothouse is that it puts you in the driver’s seat in terms of the weather you provide your plants. You are in control of heat levels, watering patterns, and other essential elements that impact dormancy among garden plants. The best way to ensure all your Spring blooms are looking their best on time is to grow them in optimal conditions.

    Contact High Prairie Outdoors

    High Prairie Outdoors is a leading lawn care and landscaping company located here in Kansas. Being a local company, we strive to provide our clients with the best of everything, including rates, products, and customer service.

    If you are looking for healthy and timely flowers for your garden, we can help. We invite you to contact us at 1-816-398-2901 to hear more about our current services and products. We are happy to offer quick and accurate quotes on all our outdoor services.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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