Cherry Blossom Watch Update: April 11, 2018

Petals are starting to come off, but for now it’s a very gentle pace. The cold weather has slowed development down and kept the green leaves at bay. So the cherry blossoms are still holding up well and looking beautiful.

DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021

It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.

Petals are starting to come off, but for now it’s a very gentle pace. The cold weather has slowed development down and kept the green leaves at bay. But if you start looking up close you can see more green, a combination of the green flower stems being revealed as petals come off and green leaves starting to poke through. The pace will begin picking up starting tomorrow, with warm weather coming and potentially some gusty winds.

The entire bloom is a constant state of transition, and that’s especially true now as the flowers are being replaced by green leaves. For now, they’re holding up very well indeed, and they’re looking beautiful. As we head into the weekend more and more petals will come off in the breeze (and rain, if there is some) and more green leaves will be coming through.

A big thank you to everyone who has sent in their photos. The response has been extraordinary, with hundreds of readers sending in photos. So there are a lot of photos to choose from–I just wish I could post them all. You can find the first two posts of reader photos here and here. Stay tuned for another post later today. Submissions are now closed–thanks again to all who have sent photos in.

Keep reading down below for some shots of how the Kwanzans are doing as well as the tulips at the Floral Library.

Weekend Prospects

Weekend of April 14-15. They peaked this past Thursday (April 5), so we’re now coming up to a week after peak bloom. In ideal conditions they can last a week or more beyond peak–maybe even as much as two weeks. So far the weather has been good for keeping them around–cool and calm. That’s about to change, starting tomorrow, with much warmer temperatures and gusty breezes. There’s a chance of rain Sunday afternoon/evening.

I’ll be posting more updates before the weekend which will give a sense of how things are progressing. So be sure to check back.

How It Looks This Morning

It’s overcast but not as cold as it has been lately.

Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms

The Kwanzans still have some work to do. You can start to see some of the color of the petals just starting to poke through on the buds. The cold weather has been keeping them slow as well, and it looks like they’ll be further behind the Yoshinos (the historical average is 15 days later, but it can be up to a month).

Here are some photos showing how they look this morning.

Floral Library

About half the tulips are now flowering. Some shots from this morning.


I’ve put together some more detailed information in posts on how to get there and where to park:

The Maine Ave parking lot (near the paddle boats) is still closed for parking to make way for the Welcome Area. It will remain in place at least through April 15.

The special one-way traffic restrictions are in place along Ohio Drive, so you can’t enter down by the John Ericsson Memorial (the Lincoln Memorial end). Instead, you’ll have to do the circuit around the Jefferson Memorial.

Alternative Locations for Cherry Blossoms

The cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin aren’t the only cherry blossoms in town, and if you miss the ones there by a few days you might have more luck at some of the alternative locations nearby. The ones I’ve seen elsewhere in town have been behind the ones at the Tidal Basin, so if you’re coming into town next week or next weekend, you still might be able to catch cherry blossoms elsewhere around town. You can find some suggestions here.

Last updated April 11, 2018

View Comments

  • My husband and I are on the way to Washington now, we hope to be there Friday. Will we get to see any cherry blossoms ??

    • Yes, you should get to see some. If the wind comes up today, as expected, it will knock some petals off, but the odds are good of there still be plenty to see tomorrow.

  • I just wanted to thank you for the time and energy you put into maintaining this web site. It is full of timely, useful information which is indispensable for planning a trip down to see the trees when they are blooming, even for us “locals.” I look forward to your posts each early spring season. I am a passionate photographer, and taking photographs of these trees each year is a rite of passage into spring for me. With sincere appreciation.