Perennial plants — the kind that re-bloom from the same roots, year after year after year — spend winter in a state of dormancy. It’s a survival strategy that equips them to endure weather conditions that are unsuitable for growth.
Dormancy is triggered by subtle cues, from decreasing temperatures to shortened daylight hours to reduced rainfall. It tells the plants to slow their cell activity and prepare their soft tissues for frost, as the green leaves and flowers wither and appear to die.
But they’re only resting underground. When the climate warms again, growth restarts from stored-up energy. The process is called “budbreak.”
I had never heard that term before researching this perennial plant magic. How beautiful is it? Budbreak?
We talk about blossoming and blooming. We talk about sprouting, the start of something new.
But we don’t talk enough about budbreak, the rebirth of something that had seemingly perished. We don’t talk enough about dormancy, the rest that is so often instrumental before any resumed growth.