December 1, 2011
Even though it's really is December, with the warm weather we've been having some plants think it's spring!
Forsythia, flowering quince, even apples and lilacs may be showing signs of flowering right now. It's actually not that unusual. What happens is the shrub goes into dormancy in the fall, but it doesn't go fully into dormancy. Some of the flower buds wake up with the warm weather and rains and think it's spring and start blooming.
Of course these buds that are flowering now will not bloom again in the spring, but if you look closely, you'll see there are hundreds of other flower buds that are on your shrub that aren't blooming, so don't worry. Your shrub will flower beautifully next spring.
This fall flowering doesn't really hurt the bush. These flowers will die and the shrub will stop flowering once it gets cold again. If you want to do something a little creative, you can always take a cutting of some of the flowering branches and use them for holiday decorating! Don't get stuck on just holly for the holidays, think forsythia too! You can probably root these cuttings and make plants for next spring as well.
By Charlie Nardozzi
PO Box 4508