The Q&A Archives: Dormancy

Questioner's Location: Bloomsburg, PA
Date: November 12, 1999

Question: I'm new to gardening and thought that my perennials would be going dormant at this time. Why am I getting new growth, more buds (my dephinium is blooming), and why are my transplanted iris bulbs sending up fresh green leaves. Will I lose this plants over the winter?

Answer: In a normal year the freezing temperatures at night combined with cooer days would be cold enough to be sending the plants into dormancy. Instead we have been having record setting daytime highs and nights above freezing and this is delaying the process. Some of the plants seem to be a bit confused about the season and some rebloomers are trying to bloom; as gardeners there is really nothing we can do about it except sit back and enjoy the show! Also, some plants will retain a green crown or some evergreen foliage near the ground for the winter. Iris are an example of this -- it is normal.

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