December 6, 2018
I think that we have had enough rain to help our shrubs get through the dry winds of winter. Yet the little voice in my head says that it has been a weird weather year. The rain could really stop and the dry winds could pick up and you could still have damage to your shrubs come the end of the winter. With that in mind, it is getting late for you to protect your shrubs.
If the weather stays above 40 degrees, you can still apply Wilt Pruf spray to your broadleaf evergreens, hydrangeas and rose bushes. This spray-on wax will coat the leaves and stems and form a film that will cut back the moisture lost to dry winds by 30 to 50%. This can make a difference between your plants living or dying.
You can also wrap your shrubs with burlap. Burlap slows down the ability of the wind to whip by the leaves and pull moisture out of the leaves. The burlap will also prevent the snow from weighing down individual branches and causing those individual branches to snap off.
We are now into December – and you never know when the first heavy snow will arrive. If you haven’t protected your shrubs from the winter wind and snow, now is the time to get started.
We have had more and more people come into the store with issues with their houseplants. Most of these plants were outside during the summer. The plants are now covered with insects. The reason this has happening is the plants were not treated for insects before the plants were brought inside. In some cases, the plants were sprayed for insects but the job may not have been done completely.
Either way, if you had plants that were outside during the summer, you should be checking the plants for signs of insect infestation. Aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs are all insects that have been seen on various plant samples brought into the store. If you see signs of these insects, you should be treating your plants with a suitable spray or granular insecticide. It would also be a good idea to check your houseplants once a month for signs of insects. If you see insects on your houseplants then you should treat your plants with an insecticide.
Speaking of houseplants, the winter months are usually the dormant season for many houseplants. Plants may not stop growing but they will be growing slowly. Their demand for water is usually less. If you keep the soil too wet, many houseplants will develop damage to their root system. This damage to the roots will eventually lead to the death of the plant. For most houseplants, you should feel the soil to see if it feels wet. If the soil feels wet, you should not be watering your plants.
If you are growing cactus, they are vulnerable to rotting at the soil line if the soil is kept too wet. We have found at our store that the cactus can go incredibly long periods of time without water. From October to late March, use a light hand when it comes to watering most of your houseplants.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.