Ready for Texas wildflowers? Record cold could put hold on flower photos


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Due to the record cold snap hitting central Texas Monday and Tuesday, you may have to wait a little longer to take those perfect spring wildflower photos with your loved ones.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is fielding a lot of questions on how this weather will affect the wildflowers, and the short answer is the center isn’t exactly sure of the impact.

Some redbud trees are in bloom at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (Photo: KXAN)

“This cold weather is definitely going to delay things a little bit. The sunny, warm weather sped things up (a couple weeks ago), but the cold will slow it down,” said Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the director of horticulture at the LBJ Wildflower Center.

After a mild winter, Monday night is predicted to be the coldest night in 13 months, according to our KXAN meteorologists.

The warmer winter had experts at the center optimistic of an earlier than normal wildlflower arrival this year with some bluebonnets already blooming around Austin.

However DeLong-Amaya isn’t saying all is lost because of the cold. These wildflowers are tough, particularly bluebonnets, and can handle the extremes “Mother Nature” can hurl. 

“Generally, if you have temperatures in the upper or mid-20s, bluebonnets just respond and tolerate it. If you start getting a bit colder, we might see some actual damage,” DeLong-Amaya said.

Currently, the projected overnight low Monday going into Tuesday is 25 degrees.

A bluebonnet hasn't fully bloomed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Photo: KXAN)

A lot of the bluebonnets around the Wildflower center haven’t fully bloomed which actually protects the flower from the cold. The lower the flower is to the ground the more insulated and protected it is from harm.

As for the wildflowers standing tall, DeLong-Amaya says the flower will likely shed its petals in the cold and will rebuild.

A bluebonnet stands tall in bloom at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (Photo: KXAN)

DeLong-Amaya says this event could cause a minor postponement for your family photo shoots, but the flowers should be ready by the middle of April.

“It’s hard to predict when the peak bluebonnet flowering will be. Earlier, I was suggesting end of March, early April and it really depends on how long this cold snap lasts.”

Good news is the temperature is expected to return toward the 70s by the end of the week and that’s also good news for Texas wildflowers.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened to bluebonnets and they still persist,” said DeLong-Amaya. “There’s not going to be any catastrophic apocalypse with the bluebonnets.”

If you see wildflowers blooming around the state, the LBJ Wildflower Center would like to see them tagged to its instagram page.

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