Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Winter Landscaping
By Kathy Esfahani
The landscape can seem a bit less colorful this time of year. Many of our favorite blooms are dormant or not available during the cooler months. But there are flowers that will brighten your yard and tasks that prepare for the spring warmup!
Winter flowers will add color to wake up your landscape. Look for annuals such as pansies, violas, petunias, snapdragons and Dusty Miller. These plants are available in many colors and look great in garden beds or planters. Most importantly, they are tough enough to withstand the cold temperatures we may experience. Camellias are also a popular choice at this time of year as they are the only perennial that blooms in winter. These evergreen shrubs produce flowers in white, pink and red. Use Camellias as an anchor for a landscape bed or a hedge in your yard. These shrubs are low maintenance and will produce stunning blooms for years to come.
January is also a great time to tend to your landscape ahead of warmer spring temperatures. Several tasks are important this month:
- Protect your plants from frost and cold temperatures! Tropical plants are especially sensitive to temperatures below 40 degrees and should be covered with frost cloth ahead of freezes. These plants include crotons, Hawaiian ti, arbicola, ginger, bird of paradise, hibiscus, Roebellini palms, Adonidia palms, lady palms, bougainvillea, mandevilla, gold mound, sea grapes, stromatha, tibouchina, philodendron, Xanadu, crown of thorns, kalanchoe and sunpatiens. Also, be sure to cover more sensitive plants below 32 degrees (blue daze, pentas, geraniums, bush daisies, gold dust, sedum and salvia) and cover citrus trees below 30 degrees.
- Monitor your irrigation system. Although less water is needed than during the hot summer months, you should still water your landscape, especially if rainfall is low and temperatures are higher than normal. Be careful not to water within 48 hours of an upcoming freeze and turn off your irrigation system for those events.
- January is a good time to prune shrubs and trees that do not bloom in the spring. Make sure not to prune once new buds have appeared! When pruning, remove dead or injured branches but keep the cutting to a minimum. Hedges can be shaped and thinned. Trim the top of the hedges more narrowly than the bottom to allow sunlight to reach all the leaves.
- Finally, winter is a good time to spread new mulch in your garden beds. This new layer will help keep roots warm during cold temperatures and freshen the look of your landscape.
Take advantage of sunny days to give your landscape a little TLC!
Flowers of the Week: Dusty Miller
Please email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information & ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.