Plum – Blooms Frozen

Q: For the past few years, my plum tree has started to show its blooms in the middle of January. Prior to the snow this January it began to do the same thing. I know that it has a lot to do with the weather, which no one can control, but is there anything I can do to help it stay dormant for another two months?

A: In a word: No.

Plums are famous for blooming early and having their flowers frozen before spring arrives. Genetics play a huge influence in how a tree responds to warm weather. Your plum is one that is programmed to bloom when it gets warm after a cold spell. It was chilly in late December and since the tree can’t read a calendar it bloomed after a few warm days in January.

Depending on how much work you’re willing to do, you could invest in a big tarp to cover it down to the ground on all sides. A couple of 100 watt light bulbs would provide enough heat to keep the flowers warm during winter temperatures in the twenties.

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