Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

December, 2011
Regional Report

Cut Back Faded Perennials

Perennial plants such as astilbe, dahlia, statice, and echinops require a winter rest period. Cut back faded foliage to the ground. Add a 1 - 2 inch layer of organic compost, being careful not to bury the crown of the plant.

Divide Perennial Plants

When perennial plants such as coreopsis, rudbeckia or sea foam statice (Limonium perezii) stop blooming, it's time to dig and divide. Never dig and cut a plant that is still actively growing, but wait until it goes into it's resting period. No fertilizer until you begin to see new growth.

Water Under Eaves

Plants growing under protective eaves of buildings will need supplemental water during the rainy season. Once irrigation systems have been shut down for the year, it is important to hand water any plants that do not receive direct rainfall.

Prune Summer Blooming Shrubs

Shrubs that bloom after mid-summer set flowers on new growth and should be pruned during the dormant period. That gives them plenty of time to recover, put on new growth, and set buds. Plants that flower in spring are blooming on old wood and should be pruned after flowering has ceased.

Prune Hard for Vigorous Growth

Plants such as buddleja and honeysuckle (Lonicera) should be pruned to the ground during the winter to promote vigorous new growth in the spring.

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