Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

November, 2005
Regional Report

Repot Palms

November is the ideal time to transplant potted palms. Gently shake off as much soil as possible from the rootball. Place the palm into the new container to check the soil level. Cover the drainage hole with plastic window screen to prevent soil from leaking out. Add fresh potting mix to the bottom of the pot and measure the depth again. Leave 1 to 2 inches of space from the rim of the pot for watering. Fill in around the rootball with fresh soil and water. No fertilizer until you begin to see new growth.

Stop Deadheading Roses

Allow your rose plants to form hips by not removing the spent flowers. Seed production is a signal for the plants to go into their dormant period. Hold back on fertilizer and keep fallen foliage raked up from under the plants to prevent the spread of fungus disease.

Keep Bird Feeders Filled

If you feed the birds, it is very important not to let the feeders go empty during the winter months. Resident birds rely on your good will for their survival. Keep hummingbird feeders clean and full, bird baths topped off with fresh water, and allow some fallen seed to remain on the ground for the towhees and doves.

Plant Refrigerated Bulbs

It's time to pull your spring-blooming bulbs out of the refrigerator and get them into the ground. Discard any that have rotted or are soft to the touch. Plant in a sunny location in soil amended with a small amount of superphosphate. Dig them in deep to insulate them from the warm days we occasionally get during the winter months. Plant colorful annuals such as pansies over the bulb bed.

Stop Watering Indoor Cactus

Indoor cactus plants need a rest period to promote bloom and healthy growth. In nature, the desert is dry during the winter months, with rain coming in torrents during the late summer. Discontinue watering until you begin to see new growth in February or March. Keep plants clean with a soft brush.

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