Thursday, February 6, 2014

Plants I'm Growing: First Blooms--Pluot "Dapple Dandy," Flowering Plum, Daphne Odorata

I noticed the first open buds today on the large Daphne odorata behind the house. The plant has done poorly lately. Inexplicably, about half the plant turned brown and dried up last summer. Water wasn't the problem, or the whole plant would have withered. It remains a mystery, but I'm happy to see flowers on the part of the plant that has survived. The Daphne bloomed on January 2 in 2013, which was quite early. The plant bloomed on February 7, 2012, January 21, 2011, and January 19, 2010.

On February 3, the first flowers appeared on the Pluot "Dapple Dandy" (above) and the pink flowering plum (Prunus blireana) behind the house, although, following the pattern of recent years, the latter has few remaining buds on it. The sparrows, juncos, and House Finches in the yard like to eat the flowers before they open, presumably for the nectar within. They remove virtually every bud on branches stout enough to perch on. The plum first bloomed on February 17 in 2009, February 4 in 2011, February 2, in 2012, and February 15, in 2013, so this is a fairly typical date (I don't have a record for 2010). "Dapple Dandy" first bloomed on February 5 in 2009, February 15 in 2010, February 4 in 2011, and February 23 in 2013. I can't find a record for "Dapple Dandy" for 2012.


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