Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Lights and Dormancy

Often in the spring when cold weather threatens, loving gardeners will put Christmas lights on fruit trees to protect the wee flowers from getting frostbite.  How nice...

But, this time of year when people are stringing lights on any stationary object (don't leave your grand-dad sitting alone for too long!) those little lights can actually cause damage.  Yes, damage!

Plants are really smart - they take long winter naps.  At least in areas where the weather gets cold and nasty. (like where I live) They slow down and stop their development and growth during adverse times.  (I'd like to sleep through winter too.)

When we put our charming little lights all over them the heat from the lights can fool them into thinking it is spring again.  When they wake up from their annual intermission they truly get a rude awakening.  Their sap begins to flow, their buds may even sprout looking for that first sunny day...  Only to find a frigid, inhospitable winter day.  That's when the damage occurs.

So, what can we do if we want to have a Griswold Christmas?  Well, use the new LED lights!  While they do not give off any heat, they still scintillate the senses.  A perfect Christmas gift for your sleeping beauties.

Merry Christmas to you and your plants!

Get your hands dirty!


  1. Great Advice! Great photos! ;>)

  2. Good advice. And how true.

  3. Those Christmas lights can save plants too! We sometimes use them to protect plants during cold spells, we wrap them on some plants and the heat they emit helps them to sail through the winter.

  4. And as an added bonus they last longer and are much cheaper to run - save the plants, save the planet, and still have festive fun!

  5. A little late for a post but I have a question. What about plants that wake up not from heat necessarily but from day length - light? Will this cause them to wake up early too? Just a thought. I'm asking this now because my fruit trees have been coming into bloom and freezing because the days are long enough but spring is just having a terrible time getting here.


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