What type of tree/plant has to go through winter first? - Knowledgebase Question

Santa Clarita, CA
Question by davidtniles
December 22, 2005
I had heard that there was a type of tree or plant that, in order to bloom in the spring, needs to go through a drop in temperature first. I heard it was the Lilac, but someone told me,


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Answer from NGA
December 22, 2005

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What you heard is correct; there are many, many different types of plants that have a winter chill requirement. Plants that do not receive sufficient cold to satisfy chill requirements do not perform well. Such plants often are delayed in both leafing out and blooming. The bloom period is scattered over a long period and there is a reduced fruit set. Blossoms and fruit may drop prematurely, and fruit quality is often reduced. This year?s peach season may be less productive than hoped.

Lilacs do require a pronounced winter chill in order to bloom. The exception to this rule are the Descanso Hybrids which were especially bred for southern California gardens.

Hope this answers your question!

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