I promised to give an update on this and am using Bloom Day for it, because it's more interesting than anything on my property. A while back I posted about the century plant at the Botanical Gardens, which has been pushing up a flower stalk (right through the glasshouse roof) for the last 2 months or so. I voiced my doubts that it would make it in the cold air, and I'm not the only one. In today's Buffalo News:
Now, with the tip exposed to punishing wind, rain and snow, the huge plant may not live to do what century plants are famous for — flower for the first and only time in its life and then die.
“It hasn’t done much the last two weeks,” fretted Botanical Gardens horticulturist Doug O’Reilly. “Supposedly, as long as the base stays warm it should be OK.”
If the cruel April weather conditions persist, and the century plant dies prematurely, visitors to the South Park conservatory will miss a natural phenomenon.
The spike, which resembles a giant asparagus stalk, normally would rise to a height of about 20 feet, 10 feet above the greenhouse roofline, and then burst out in a bouquet of yellow or reddish-pink, pad-like blooms.
Because the stalk’s rapid growth sucks up all of the plant’s nutrients, the show would be brief. The whole plant, 10 feet wide at the base, would quickly go kaput, leaving only a brown seed stalk.
If it makes it through this week, it should be OK.
Meanwhile, I see that many others have posted about hellebores and such, so I offer some indoor action: a late-blooming hippeastrum and some other houseplants. This is why I defend houseplants so fervently; in weather like this, you really need them!