All Things Gardening forum: Terrible March Weather for Plants!

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 7, 2017 3:59 PM CST
So many of my plants started to grow due to the mild Feb. The past couple cold blast and the next bad one to come this weekend will surely damage them beyond recovery. Some of my daffodils blooms are drooping eventhough they have not opened yet. Peach buds are so far along that I doubt they will not be injured. And as for my roses, all of the growths will probably die. Really crappy start for these poor plants.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
Mar 7, 2017 4:06 PM CST
I feel your pain! I had some crocus bloom and after the last cold snap they are still trying but are now so droopy you can't see the blooms. I've been trying to cover up vulnerable perennials with sheets but I'm not sure it's working. I'm sure I'm going to lose double digit numbers of perennials this year for the third year in a row. Sighing! It's at the point where I guess I'm going to have to consider everything an annual (or a short-lived perennial).

I only have 1 dwarf rose bush that I bought a cover for. It's blown off quite a few times with the strong winds so I've staked it so it can't blow off anymore. The silly plant has already started to leaf out! I'm hoping the cover will at the very least keep the plant from dying. April can't get here fast enough for me!
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 7, 2017 8:03 PM CST
Thanks Elena! Just have to rant a bit to get the frustration out of my system. When I see the forsythia blooming in my neighborhood this past week, I think the plants are very confused. This is the earliest that I see forsythia blooming in my area. So sorry to hear about your crocuses. Mine are not blooming well either. Their petals are all mushed. I will be really sad if the same is to happen to my daffs. Hope the arctic blast coming this weekend will be the last cold one.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Mar 10, 2017 2:37 PM CST
This type of Spring type winter weather has happened to me so many times through the years. This year when I saw my spring bulbs growing the second week of February I covered them with my stash of fall leaves. I have loads of trees so I have thirty garbage bags. I at least delayed the blooms. Hopefully after this week we will be safe but I have seen big snow storms in April.
[Last edited by Cinta - Mar 10, 2017 2:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Mar 10, 2017 8:27 PM CST
Yep, we're on the roller coaster here also. Hibiscus, brugmansias, Confederate rose and Amaryllis are waking up and putting out new growth. Now they are all going to have their tips frozen this weekend with the arctic blast/frozen precipitation. I too hope that it's our last for this winter. I guess I'll be banking pine straw around them tomorrow to try to protect them. Sighing!
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Mar 10, 2017 9:39 PM CST
8f for the low tonight, below O windchills over night. We went from above average to below average temps in a hurry after two days of very strong winds.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 11, 2017 7:19 PM CST
Sad to say but I think my peach buds are finished. Crying Crying I pruned, sprayed, and fertilized preparing for a good year but that is not meant to be. Sighing! I am sorry if anyone else suffers the same fate with regards to fruit trees and/or flowers.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Mar 11, 2017 9:52 PM CST
#kousa, sorry..

I have cherry, three Apple trees, my tree peach tree died last year.

I know I will not see any cherry blossoms this year. I never get the pleasure of eating any cherries because the birds would eat them every year. I would go out and see a bunch of seeds hanging from the tree. This year I probably will not even get to see the blossoms..
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 12, 2017 8:56 PM CST
Cinta, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your peach trees. I have never grown cherry so I don't know that birds love them. I wonder where you are but my area will be hit with 14"+ of snow come this Tuesday. Thought we have it safe when last week we had 60F+ degrees but I guess not.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Mar 12, 2017 10:39 PM CST
I am in Pittsburgh. As. I drove out of the driveway today I saw my poor forsythia frozen bloom. They said my area will get four inches.

I purchased this house a few years go it had n existing orchard but because the property was an estate property it was vacant a long time and not cared for. A lot of the fruit trees were in bad shape and to far gone to save.

The cherry tree was 18ft high and the birds would cover the tree and eat all the cherries. I could only reach the bottom limbs but they would eat them too. It is funny how they would eat the fruit and the seeds were hanging on the tree.
[Last edited by Cinta - Mar 12, 2017 10:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Mar 13, 2017 7:47 AM CST
Group hug So sorry, Cinta. Yes, birds/critters can do weird things at times. (Like that squirrel stealing my eating pears, when he had several trees loaded with wild and bradford pears.) Blinking Grumbling When I lived on a small lot in the city, we had wild cherry trees on one side of the lot. The birds would eat them, get drunk and create quite a ruckus. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 13, 2017 8:14 AM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Drunken birds! That must be a sight, Deebie! Wonder if they fly into each other when they are drunk. I had birds flown right smack into my patio glass door a few times a year. This may explain this behavior.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Plant and/or Seed Trader Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Vegetable Grower
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bxncbx
Mar 13, 2017 8:32 AM CST
Well, my wintersowing containers are all frozen solid thanks to this weekend's temps in the teens. Even the ones I covered with a blanket are frozen so I guess the seedlings in them will die. Crying

I've kept some perennials covered all weekend with sheets but I guess I need to take them off tonight. We are expecting a blizzard with 15-18" of snow. I'm happy for the snow since it will insulate the plants but with no warm up coming after the storm I expect the backyard to turn into an icy mess. If things don't warm up I might not see any of my plants until April!
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Mar 13, 2017 8:47 AM CST
I only got about 2" of snow. Everything is clean and white looking again. I am going to have to do a lot of yard pickup this Spring.Supposed to be back in the 40's this weekend.
Name: Linda
Pawleys Island, SC (Zone 8b)
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Ibartoo
Mar 13, 2017 3:24 PM CST
I have brugmansia and hibiscus and several others that have already begun putting out great growth. I did however move all of my plants back indoors for this cool snap. Here's hoping it won't last long.
Seas the Day
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 13, 2017 6:01 PM CST
Wow, so sorry to hear about your wintersowing plants demise, Elena. Gardening has its frustrating moments and this is definitely it. I think they forecast temps in the 50's next week.

Gary, is 40's normal for your area at this time of year?? It sounds a bit warm for zone 4a?

You did the right thing, Linda! I too hope this will be the last cold snap for the season. I am not sure the plants can take anymore of these rollercoaster temps.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Mar 14, 2017 3:57 AM CST
It was a disaster here in Southern Maryland. The warm late Winter encouraged my Saucer Magnolias and daffodils to emerge early. Then the hail came. That knocked off 25% of the Saucer Magnolia buds and beat the blooming daffs to ground.
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But that didn't matter. 2 days later, the temps plummeted in the low 20s and the remaining Saucer Magnolia buds died of freezing. The blooming daffs all fell over.

Then we had a week of freezing and the almost-blooming daffs couldn't handle that. The plants won't die, but most of the emerging blooms did.

I even had hyacinths that didn't emerge last year and did this year. I was thrilled seeing that they had survived 16 months. They may all be killed now. The tulips may survive. I covered them as best I could, but blankets may not protect against 20 degrees for several nights.

It almost got worse with forecasts of high teens and sleet, but the storm shifted slightly west and we have 33 degree rain. We need the rain and the bulbs can stand 33 degrees.

I dread seeing the damage in a few days. Yeah, that's life, but I was SO hoping for a really great bulb display this year after planting so many last Fall and the warmish weather until now.

I can only wait and watch...




Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Mar 14, 2017 7:24 AM CST
Group hug Group hug to all facing damage to their gardens because of this late winter storm. So sorry to hear of the damage Elena and Yardenman. It's so sad. My camellias are in full bloom. Maybe I can snip off a few buds to float in a water dish.

Up until now we in midstate SC, haven't had any freezing precipitation, but it's not over yet. I have a chance today to run out and throw some straw over emmerging brug and hibiscus sprouts (if they are long enough, I'll probably cut them off to reroot), oh and cover some lily foliage. I couldn't get out yesterday because my asthma flared up. But much prayers are needed for this to pass over. It least the sun is shining through the clouds today.
Name: Linda
Pawleys Island, SC (Zone 8b)
Daylilies Dog Lover Hostas Plant and/or Seed Trader Plumerias Seed Starter
Tropicals Seller of Garden Stuff
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Ibartoo
Mar 16, 2017 7:18 PM CST
I noticed some crinum lily bulbs that had really taken a beating, but I couldn't force myself to go look at the emerging brugmansias. This cold definitely hurt. All of my azaleas and camellia were in full bloom. The plants will survive, but the blooming season is pretty much done. Maybe the rest of spring will be mild and summer will be gentle.

Seas the Day
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Mar 17, 2017 7:19 PM CST
So much snow of the ground here I can not tell how the plants are under there. Last week 4 inches this past Tues. 24 1/2 inches and tomorrow another 3 to 6. Only a few Daffs had broken ground before the snow started but the Hellebore were getting ready to flower. At least I had a few days of the Witch Hazel flowers before they al got covered with ice. And the poor Hydrangea had leaves starting to open which was way to early this year.

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