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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Some of the plants that appear to keep growing through the winter

With a warmer than average winter and hardly any snow, I have noticed that many of the plants seem to keep growing.

The little balls of moss are very hard to miss as they grow all over the lawn or any place there is decaying material.

The sempervivums which are cold hardy to zone 4 seem to still be growing through a zone 6 winter and they should make their most growth from April through June since they seem to prefer cooler weather like any other cold hardy succulent. These do tend to come out of the soil with the freeze thaw cycle so I need to make sure I stick them back in after the final thaw in the spring so they can send roots down.

I have divided up the sedums to fill out a lot of space for the spring, but they also seem to be growing well into the winter.

Even some of the garlic I planted in early December are starting to sprout which indicates that even the later batches are rooting out by now. I have planted both soft neck and hard neck varieties, but the hard necks seem to not be sprouting at all yet.

I used to think tree peonies had to wait until March to start making progress, but after learning about vernalization which occurs for most plants best around 40-45F which we have seen a lot of in the last month, it seems like the bud development has already started and a difference can be seen in the size of these buds, especially when one of them is partially opened.
Here's a 1st year tree peony seedling with its buds just starting to swell up as well.

After observing the buds off the fruit and deciduous trees, it looks like those are starting to set as well.
Asian pear




Finally some plants like the yucca seem to never stop growing and don't seem to be affected at all by the change in seasons. It might need a dormancy for flowering, but otherwise it looks the same all year.


  1. It is kind of strange how warm and unpredictable the weather is here. There is snow one day, then consistently above 40 F the next few days. I wonder if the plants will be confused in the spring.

  2. I think since a lot of these plants that require a dormancy cycle have seen temperatures around 40F so often, they simply get charged up with more growth hormones for the spring, but I don't think it will make them sprout earlier unless there's an early warmup. Sometimes this vernalization process is noticeable such as whenever tree peony seeds are stuck in the fridge for bud development.

    This is my first year tarping all my in ground bamboos so they'll probably be exposed to temperatures in the 40s the entire winter so I do expect the # of shoots to be maximized if these consistently warmer temperatures help mature more buds.

  3. I enjoy your blog about bamboo. Im interested in growing moso bamboo from seed, to sell, any pointers? Im in Ft. Worth Tx. Zone 8. I have a 1/4 acre to dedicate to this adventure. David

    1. Sure. You might want to try bidding on the 1000 seed 12.99 auction that goes on eBay. It's not at the cheapest,which can be as low as 7.99, but depending on the freshness of the seeds, you may only get around 15% germination so having lots of seeds does count. If you get more germination than you expected, these are easy to sell off or give to friends.

      They germinate very well in paper towels as long as they are not too moist so you can avoid mold/dampening off. The bigger the seedlings get, the easier they are to grow.