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Question: 301-5201
I have crocus and primrose in bloom. Will they survive? Gert, Groton, CT

Mort's Answer:
Both will survive. It may seem premature for both but when you consider the mild New England winter, it is not. Crocus will bloom through the snow in zone 6 from late January through March. The same is true for Primula sinensis and P.obconica. These two tender perennials can and often will bloom very early. Since you are close to the water, this enhances the mild winter weather. You cannot alter the blooming. Crocus will endure colder weather. My crocus have yet to bloom but they are sprouting vigorously. I would not try to cover them. After the primrose finishes flowering, you should cover them. P.obconica has hairy pointed leaves and blooms in pink or lilac. P.sinensis or Chinese primrose has woolly leaves with several colored flowers. P.sinensis stellata has smaller star shaped blooms.

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Question: 302-5201
My crocus are up to 6 inches tall. Should I cut them back? Tom, Avon, MA

Mort's Answer:
Definitely not. They will bloom through snow. Leave them in the ground and let them die down to the ground in the spring. They usually bloom in March in zone 6. This unusual warm January thaw may bring the flower. The flowers will probably not last as long as in March, but may be more welcomed at this time of year. These cold weather plants are noted for their impatience to come to bloom.

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Question: 1234-1115
Are the crocus blooming under the snow? Sandy, Greenville, RI

Mort's Answer:
They are in suspended animation and will not grow until the soil is thawed. It is warmer than you might think under the blanket of snow. Crocus will be the first to sprout and bloom. The succession of blooms on other plants will be more rapid than in prior years but they will be late. This year the Easter plants bought in stores will be earlier than in our gardens. Outdoor plants really depend on weather, whether we like it or not.

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