Late winter weather wilts flowers

By Scott Halasz shalasz@civitasmedia.com

April 17, 2014

XENIA — The unexpected snow and frost this week hasn’t just messed with outdoor activities.

The weather also damaged a vast majority of plants and trees that started to bloom in the warm temperatures. Hit particularly hard were magnolia trees which had started to show off their beautiful colors.

“The flowers will drop off of it and unfortunately it will become really ugly,” said Cris Barnett, chief naturalist with Greene County Parks & Trails. “They’ll wilt and they’ll shrivel. They won’t re-bloom. What the snow has done has stunted them. Most of your trees are going to drop their flowers.”

Fruit trees haven’t started to bloom yet, “so we don’t have that concern.”

For now the damage appears to be limited to trees.

“Some of your garden plants are heartier pants,” Barnett said. “Some like daffodils will look bad for a while then bloom. Pansies will just bloom right through it.”

Barnett said there is one sure way to make sure this season’s foliage survives.

“Don’t be hurrying to plant things yet,” she said. “Remember the (last) frost date is the middle of April. I know it’s getting nice out, but hang on.”

The final frost date for Ohio, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zone Map, was April 15.