The colder months can bring major changes to the landscape outside. Even in areas of the country that do not experience extremely cold weather, plants can also experience changes. Some of the most obvious changes include the leaves falling from the trees and the seemingly sudden cessation of new growth in yards and flowerbeds. These changes occur as a part of the normal life cycle of many types of plants and trees. The state that causes these changes in plants is called dormancy. Learning about dormancy can help you understand the changes in your plants and better prepare for the coming time of growth.
What does it mean for vegetation to go dormant?
When any type of vegetation goes dormant it basically means that it is resting. The plants or trees take a break from the work of actively growing. Just like other living things, plants need rest. The tasks of growing, blooming, and changing require energy and resources. Dormancy allows the plants and trees to take a break from all of that hard work. During dormancy, the visible growth of plants appears to stop but there is still activity going on under the surface in the roots.
What is the purpose of dormancy?
One of the reasons for dormancy is for plants to get ready for regrowth in the spring. Growth requires a lot of resources from plants and trees so this time of rest is essential for continued health and growth. The time of year and weather are the two elements that are typically associated with plant dormancy. Generally, the colder months are the time when dormancy occurs. It is also possible for dormancy to occur in response to stress. For example, in a drought situation plants may go into a dormant state in an effort to conserve moisture.
Can I do anything for my vegetation during dormancy?
As mentioned above, the external growth of plants slows or stops during dormancy but the roots are still active and alive. This makes dormancy a good time to get some nutrition to your vegetation. For example, you can provide your trees with deep root feedings during dormancy to improve their health and aid in new growth during the spring.
Dormancy is an important part of the overall well-being of almost all plants and trees. It is a time of rest that is essential to the continued growth and health of your vegetation throughout the year. You can take advantage of this time in the lifecycle of the vegetation to provide it with some deep root nutrition. Your plants may be resting but that does not mean that you have to stop working toward developing the yard of your dreams.