Solution to Friday’s flower fuddlement

Ed and Gayle correctly pointed out that short day plants (those that bloom in the spring or the fall) can sometimes do both.  The asters probably experienced some transplant shock in the fall, which would have suspended floral bud development.  This phenomenon could also be due to mild winter conditions (as Ed and Gayle also mentioned), which could have spared flower buds normally killed by freezing temperatures.

In any case, as spring daylengths approached those found in the fall, flower development continued and voila!  Asters in the spring!  Likewise, there are a number of spring bloomers that sometimes have a second (usually reduced) floral display in the fall.

Thanks again to Ginny for sharing her photographs and information!

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Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - Books:

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