Mild weather keeping spring flowers at bay

Spring’s flowers have started to show their colors, but lingering mild weather is expected to keep them from fully blooming until mid-March, horticulturists say.

 

Warm temperatures in Jan­uary started several flora varieties blooming ahead of schedule. A cold, wet Feb­ruary resumed more normal schedules, however, and might force late blooms for some plants, Richmond County Ex­ten­sion Coordinator Sid Mullis said.

“Things that typically bloom the third week of February bloomed in Jan­uary,” he said. “Once we got into February, things came to a standstill.”

Tulips and daffodils bloomed on schedule, but Brad­ford pear trees, which typically peak March 1, have not started to bloom, he said. Early azalea varieties have shown some color but likely will peak in late March.

If mild temperatures persist, flowers will last longer when they bloom, Mullis said. The only threat from large amounts of rain is blooms that are knocked to the ground.

Forecasts predict high temperatures in the mid-50s to low 60s for the rest of the week.

The Augusta area is on pace for a “true spring,” unlike in 2012, when above-average winter temperatures caused flowers to blossom in January and early February, said Max Brown, the ground supervisor for Georgia Regents University.

His crews are still completing winter pruning and waiting for the last leaves to fall.

Japanese magnolias and forsythia are in full bloom, and dogwood buds are starting to swell, he said.

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