Landscaping Tips for the Month of December


  • Use garden notes, photos and sketches to assess areas which need plants
  • Determine types and quantities of plants to order
  • Begin to order plants from seed and nursery catalogues

Chores and Maintenance:

  • After ground freezes, mulch perennial and bulb planting beds. The mulch will prevent heaving during the alternate freeze/thaw cycle
  • Tie and support evergreen shrubs to avoid breakage from winter snow
  • Continue to provide burlap windbreaks for boxwood and broad-leaved evergreens unitl ground freezes
  • Complete protection of trees from mouse damage with wire mesh trunk guards
  • Continue to protect shrubs from deer with burlap or netting
  • Avoid the use of salt to melt snow as it is toxic to most plants. Use sawdust, sand or cat litter
  • Keep bird feeders filled throughout winter


  • Prune evergreen branches to use in holiday decorating
  • Continue to rejuvenate overgrown shrubs as weather permits, until new growth begins in spring


  • Keep newly purchased Christmas trees in a bucket of water in a cool place
  • Set up Christmas tree in a reservoir stand. Cut on a slant about 1? above existing cut for optimum water absorption
  • Be sure to keep reservoir filled and place tree in the coolest part of the room
  • Sterilize the tree stand with a solution of boiling water, vinegar, and household bleach after use
  • When buying houseplants in winter be sure to wrap them well for the trip home. This prevents the foliage from freezing and protects tropicals from drafts
  • Give houseplants as much light as possible as days grow shorter
  • Hold off on fertilizing indoor plants until spring
  • Provide houseplants with increased humidity; mist often or place plants over a tray of moist pebbles
  • Continue to plant prepared bulbs for indoor forcing
  • As houseplants grow more slowly during winter, increase the time between waterings but do not cut back on the amount of water
  • On frigid nights protect indoor plants from freezing; move them away from the glass or cover glass with thick newspaper or cardboard
  • Clean leaves of large and smooth- leaved house plants like dracaena, philodendron, ficus etc

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