How Unseasonable Warm Weather Affects Plants

December's unseasonable warm weather isn't just surprising for folks in Connecticut, but also for plants.

The sights people in New England are used to seeing in the winter time are bare trees, dried out plants, and a lack of flowers.

However, flower bulbs have been peaking out for some plants which is uncharacteristic during this time of year. 

Jessica Lubell, Associate Professor of horticulture at the University of Connecticut specializes in native shrubs. She said the warm weather is confusing to some plants.

"When you get these warm periods they think its spring and they start to grow so you may see quints in your yard start flowering or forsythia or magnolias and these are plants that don’t require a lot of cold," said Lubell.

Lubell showed NBC Connecticut a pasque flower in bloom which is a perennial that’s supposed to flower around Easter time. Lubell said this means the pasque flower may not bloom as heavily or at all come the spring.

"I think some people have mentioned they’ve seen their bulbs growing in the yard maybe some iris, some daffodils and it's kind of the same thing they’ve accumulated a certain amount of chilling hours and we get a warm period like we’ve had," said Lubell.

The warming period may also affect certain trees.

“Like a Cornelia, Cherry Dogwood, not tree but early blooming viburnums, Witch Hazels -- you may see them blooming now,” said Lubell.

In the long run, the lingering warmth shouldn’t hurt plants. People may see less off them during their blooming season, but experts said they will adjust to the weather.

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