Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rhododendron Thermometers

            Did you know you can tell how cold it is outside by looking at your Rhododendron? If you have a Rhododendron bush outside your window this can be an easy “look see”.

             Typically we notice the Rhodo leaves when we admire their flowers in the spring, or walk by them while out in the yard during warmer weather. At that time of year they are flat and fanned out; the bush looks full and lush. But during this time of year things are a little different out in the Rhodo patch.

            As the temperature drops the leaves begin to curl up length ways, they start looking like tubes. If the mercury drops into the teens the tubes get tighter; the tighter the tubes the colder it is out there; I’ve seen them in minus 0 weather, they look like skinny drinking straws. The leaf clusters themselves also start to droop as the degree numbers fall. What is pictured is around 25 degrees I would say.

             So, before you burst out the door in your lightweight jacket because the sun was out and it looked warmer than it was, cast a quick glance in the direction of your botanical equivalent to Billy and George; it has no audience to keep happy, no dumb little target to hit, it will give you the straight skinny on how skinny, or thick of a coat you’ll need out there.


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