Signs of spring: How are things looking for the bluebonnets this year?

Not everything is gone!
Not everything is gone!

Not everything died last month and, to that end, I love a good success story!

I heard from Marie before the freeze who had read my blog about using a heating cord to save her plants. I found this item on Amazon and it’s usually for roofs up north to melt snow, but I thought why not wrap the heating cord around plants and shrubs and cover them with frost cloth?

This worked for those who kept electricity!
Last month's attempt to save my plants

For Marie, the idea was brilliant! She wrote me yesterday:

“Hi Frank, IT WORKED-you saved my trees & shrubs!! I had an arborist come by today to check my trees; he said they all survived the freeze, including my lovely orange tree. The arborist said my backyard was in the best shape of any he’s seen after the big freeze. He asked how I did it and I told him it was Frank Billingsley and the heated roofing cable. I’m beyond happy and very grateful that you posted your plant protection ideas. Thank you so very much!--Marie”

Unfortunately, for yours truly, the heating cord is electric and, well, we know how that went, so I wasn’t as lucky as Marie. I’m glad to hear the idea really did help her!

What about the bluebonnets?

I also had a viewer, John, ask me yesterday about whether the freeze killed off our state flower.

“Isn’t it getting close to time for a bluebonnet forecast? Will we have a good crop this year or did it take a hit from the frost?--John”

After all, no one wrapped a heating cord around those.

Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival is on schedule for April 10-11

As it turns out, bluebonnets are hardy down to 10° and a lot of horticulturists have no concern that they’ll be back in full force even if a bit late. But truly, they had started coming back so soon that perhaps the freeze was more of a help. Culturemap put together a great piece on bluebonnets and the freeze which you can read right here.

But the real tell on the future of our flower is the Chappell Hill Bluebonnet Festival which is scheduled to be in full force this year April 10-11. You can follow the festival plans on their Facebook page here. If the festival is a go, then our flowers are a go! So, don’t worry -- act like a steer and relax.

These will be back!

Thanks to all the Click2pins for the spring shots and signs of hope. Fingers crossed for a picture-perfect April and May!


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.