NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodMilam County


Milder spring temperatures causes early bloom, affecting Rockdale garden center ahead of grand opening

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 28, 2024

ROCKDALE, Texas — Milder temperatures this spring are causing plants to bloom early, becoming a struggle for many local plant shops across Central Texas like Hodge Podge in Rockdale.

  • Owner of Hodge Podge Shannon Kornegay says her plants are blooming earlier this year.
  • Spring temperatures are cooler this year, averaging between 60-70 degrees, according to 25News Meteorologist Caleb Chevalier.
  • But sporadic warm spells are "fooling" a few plants.


Owner Shannon Kornegay is scrambling only a day before her shop’s grand reopening.

She’s the owner of Hodge Podge in Rockdale, a local garden center.

But she’s mainly worried about the plants.

“We have noticed things blooming earlier. One of our trees, this one, has bloomed earlier than expected," she said.

And the wind —

"See, this is what the wind did," she said.

A problem gardeners are facing in our community and across Central Texas.

We spoke to one of our meteorologists, Caleb Chevalier, who tells me cooler temps and sporadic warm spells are to blame.

"It was that last spell in February — the last two weeks of February that were unusually warm. We had some 90s. We had 100 degree day in Killeen, which still completely blows my mind, and that was around Feb. 26, I think, and that warm spell fooled a lot of plants," he said.

Temperatures in early spring last year averaged between 70 and 80 degrees compared to the start of spring 2024 when the mercury has been averaging between 60 and 70 degrees.

"Our best advice: if you can't hold off planting on something until April, that would be your best bet," Chevalier said.

But for Kornegay, it’s nothing new.

"That’s Texas weather for you,” she said.

And her remedy —

“So, we put up cloth to keep a lot of the wind off of the plants. It’s not good for them. It dries them out, and you have to water more,” she said.

And plenty of perennials.

“We just have to go with it,“ Kornegay said.

Temperatures are expected to become consistent by the summer.

But in the meantime, Kornegay is planning to offer plant care advice to customers at the shop's grand re-opening Friday starting at 11 a.m.