Although farmers and orchard owners are rightly concerned about tonight’s impending frost, there is no need for you as a gardener to panic. Granted, we have a number of landscape plants flowering earlier than usual. While the blooms that are already showing may be vulnerable, these plants should be hardy enough to survive and thrive this season.
I have two PJM Rhododendrons that are in full bloom and two that have swollen buds that have not yet broken. The only way to save the flowers would be to cover the two that are in full bloom. However, the flowers are so delicate that the blanket, or other cover, I put over them would probably dislodge the pedals and ruin the flowers anyway. Confident that the unbroken buds will flower when it warms up again, and having the satisfaction of knowing that we had a whole weekend to enjoy the early blooms, I’ll just let nature take its course.
Forsythia and spring bulbs, especially crocus and daffodils, are the primary flowers that will be subject to tonight’s frost. However, I think both flowers are hardy enough to survive. They are often subject to a hard freezes when they bloom at their usual time, and they come through just fine.
If your early leafing trees and shrubs are worrying you, rest assured that they, too, will survive.
This is predicted to be only a one night freeze. In an ordinary year, we would not think twice about it. The early onset of spring, however, is causing us unnecessary concern. In my experience, conditions this year are no different than they would be in any other year, except that it happens to be earlier on the calendar.