Landscaping Tips for the Month of January


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

Chores and Maintenance:

  • Inspect ornamental trees and shrubs for scale insects
  • If a thaw occurs, apply an antidesiccant to newly planted narrow-leaved or broad-leaved evergreens
  • Check for frost heaving on perennials and cover with extra mulch as necessary
  • Use wood ashes from the fireplace as a good source of potash
  • Avoid the use of salt to melt snow, as it is toxic to most plants. Use sawdust, sand or cat litter instead
  • Check on dahlia, canna and gladiolus bulbs for rotting and/or drying out
  • Keep bird feeders filled throughout winter


  • Prune away storm-damaged branches promptly. This prevents tearing of the bark
  • Prune forsythia, pussy willow, quince, etc. for forcing indoors


  • 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
  • Provide houseplants with increased humidity; mist often or place plants over a tray of moist pebbles
  • As house plants 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
  • Continue to clean leaves of large and smooth leaved houseplants like dracaena, philodendron, ficus etc.
  • Inspect houseplants for insect pests. Remove pests by hand and spray with insecticidal soap if needed
  • Clean clay pots by soaking overnight in a solution of 1 gallon water, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup bleach

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