Record warmth temps can cause problems for plants

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Record warmth temps can cause problems for plants. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on February 21, 2008. (WPVI)

With these record warm days, you've probably noticed flowers like daffodils poking up out of the ground.

The experts tell us this is pretty normal for the Philadelphia region to get these tastes of spring.

They'll do just fine. There are some flowers that won't like it if we get a really cold snap or even some more snow.

At the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, visitors came out for a walk and a peek at nature on this unusually warm February day. They found some flowers already peeking out of the ground.

Nicole Cooper of Royersford, Pa. said, "You can see the flowers are already starting to come out a little bit. I think they're gonna be in for a surprise when the weather drops."

Helen Goodroad of Chestnut Hill said, "There are a lot of flowers out. Snowdrops I think are the dominant flower and then some yellow winter aconite, so we've got good color and signs of spring on the way."

We asked Paul Meyer, the Executive Director of the Morris Arboretum if there's cause for concern about flowers and plants coming up with the weather this warm so soon.

"There isn't too much you can do, but tulips and daffodils are pretty tough. They have evolved to withstand the ups and downs. Things like our Magnolia trees - they're not quite out yet but if this warm weather persists and then it turns cold as it did last year then the emerging flowers can be damaged. But you're not imagining it - flowers are blooming earlier - and that can throw things off," Meyer said.

It can be problematic because sometimes they can be blooming so much earlier that the pollinators may not have arrived yet so you can be losing some of the synchronous activities that plants depend upon.

And some here today told us they're worried about that this really warm weather just doesn't feel quite right.

Glynn Brannan of Richmond, Virginia said, "Yeh, it concerns me a lot. I need the winter. We need it for our souls to rest. We need it for our plants to rest. Yeh, I enjoy it, but it also scares me."

So again, most of the things you see blooming right now: crocuses, daffodils, snowdrops - they're developed over time to withstand another bought of cold temperatures.

At the Arboretum, they are seeing the timeline pushed earlier overall. Flowers that used to bloom in Early May are now popping up in late April.

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