When you purchase or receive Christmas plants, such as cacti, poinsettias, cyclem, or azaleas, remove the foil wrapping or container around them. Set the plant in the sink and water it thoroughly. Let it drain and set it back in the container or foil. Check the water in the plants every two to three days. Don’t let them get dry or stay wet; either way will damage the roots.
All of the plants will need as much light as possible, and don’t let them sit in a draft. Low-light areas can cause the plant to a slow decline. Feed them every two weeks.
If you want to move or transplant woody ornamentals that have become leggy and place it in, this is the time. Make sure that you have taken enough of the root soil with the plant. Add root stimulator to the planting hole. Don’t let the transplant dry out.
If you plan to cut back large shrubs to make a shorter or smaller hedge, wait until January or February. The plants may start a new growth and we will have another hard freeze. The new growth will freeze and the plant may not come back out.
Check and mark fruit tree limbs that show scale infestation. These trees will need an application of Dormant Oil in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
Remove dried fruits (mummies) from fruit trees and clean up the ground around the trees. This will help with disease and infestation next spring.
Don’t bag your leaves and place them out for trash. Instead, pile them in an area and run the mower over them two or three times. They can then be used for mulch on roses, trees, and gardens, or you can spread them in walkways.
If you are in to asparagus and you want to add more crowns to your asparagus bed, this is a good time. If your tops haven’t frozen back, continue watering. Wait until the first of February to cut the tops. If they are cut down too soon, you may not have as much production as you expected. A good layer of compost will be beneficial and a spring feeding will be necessary.
The weather reports aren’t very promising for rain. It seems we are in a drought mode. Begin thinking about water conservation again.