Winter has arrived in full force in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN this late January and the temperatures have dropped to near zero in the past few days. The weather in Warsaw, IN so far this winter has been pretty mild and we haven’t had alot of snow in the area, but that has changed in the past few days.
The forecast is predicting some of the coldest temperatures in recent memory for the Warsaw, IN area and we don’t have much, if any, snow cover to help insulate the ground and our landscaping plants.
What is winter dormancy and how does it affect my landscape plants in Warsaw, IN? Winter dormancy is a way of the landscape plantings coping with conditions too cold for growth. With the onset of cold temperatures and shorter nights, plants begin to do dormant. Deciduous trees will drop their leaves and evergreens may drop some needles but not all of them. Perennials will die back to the ground and survive under ground until warmer temperatures show back up in Warsaw, IN.
With winter in Warsaw, IN, dormancy has two stages. The first is a period when a dormant plant is incapable of growth even in temperatures warm up. With this stage of dormancy, a plant waits for a particular signal that says its OK to begin growing.
Usually this signal is triggered by a cold period of varying length, depending on where you live. The purpose is to prevent the plant from starting growth during an unseasonable period only to be killed when temperatures suddenly drop back to normal. Once the cold period requirement is satisfied, the plant is likely out of danger from a serious refreeze and becomes ecto-dormant.
These extremely cold temperatures that we are experiencing now and in the near forecast will have an effect on the health of your landscape plantings because of the lack of snow cover. Don’t be surprised if some of your more delicate plants struggle in the upcoming season or even don’t make it to the spring flush of growth. The extremely cold temperatures and lack of insulating snow will be the cause.