Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vernalization FAIL

They keep promising snow but it hasn't happened yet...
It hasn't really been warm the past week, but it's definitely less cold than I'd expect. Less cold than the daylilies expected too, apparently. A few plants species have been pushing out leaves recently, but the daylilies have 1-2 foot flower stalks topped with little green buds. I joked to my officemate that if they make it another week we may have fresh cut flowers in our office. Or I could just deep fry them.

Vernalization is the process by which plants time dormancy during a cold winter. They simply go dormant when it gets cold and then start growing during the first warm period following a certain period of cold temperatures. This usually works, but our crazy, indecisive Mid-Atlantic winters don't make it easy. Back in Delaware, we'd commonly get snow and 70 degree temperatures within two weeks.

The ornamental flower industry commonly uses controlled cold periods to trick temperate flowers (like bulbs) into blooming on time for our holidays. I currently have a bunch of pawpaw seeds in my fridge for the same reason.

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