Wednesday’s high temperature of 65 degrees may seem unusual, but the warm weather may be the new normal.
The Department of Agriculture released a new map detailing which plants can survive in different climates. They took data collected over the past 30 years and from that information have now placed much of the Carolinas in a warmer zone.
That means there is a lot more for gardening enthusiasts to consider before they head to the home improvement store or the local nursery.
It’s so warm that veteran grower Jack Turpin is worried about bugs already.
“This tree is a victim of weather,” he said. “It has that little white tip on that bud. When it opens, since we have an environment full of insects, here they come.”
Turpin grows dozens of different types of apples, but the most popular are the Honeycrisp. But Turpin said he can no longer grow them because the heat scorches the leaves.
But instead of abandoning the apples, he said he is adapting.
Turpin brought in plants from California and they appear to thrive in the Carolina climate.
However, horticulture expert David Goforth recommends people do not rush to change what they buy.
“Oriental persimmons are almost marginal here. That’s one of the ones you could buy for this area, but realize some years it won’t make it,” he said.
So, is it time to start ordering palm trees in south Charlotte?
“Most likely not,” Turpin said. “It’s like people with banana trees. People tell me, ‘I’ve got one!’ I say, ‘Where?’ and they say, ‘In the garage.’”
For more information on the changing plant hardiness map, click here.