Austin
6:24 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Warm Weather May Mean Premature Blooms

Temperatures in Central Texas approached record levels today. But after a few days of warmer-than-normal weather, many of the area’s plants are at risk of blooming too soon.

When the soil starts to warm, that’s a signal to many trees, shrubs, and flowers that spring is here, said Daphne Richards, a horticulturist with Texas A&M AgriLife.

“The plants are starting to think that maybe things are warming up, and they may be tricked into budding out and producing some new growth and exposing their new growth,” Richards said. “And if we do have a late frost or a late freeze, they can get bitten back and damaged.”

Richards predicts a poor year for wildflowers. Native blossoms -- like bluebonnets, blankets, and paintbrushes -- need lots of winter rain to look their best, come spring.