Beautification through Education
2/18/13 – Winter
February is the time to do major pruning for many flowering shrubs if you haven’t already done it. Now is the time to prune back bush roses, chaste tree (vitex), butterfly bushes (buddleia),
crape myrtle, rose of Sharon, fall-blooming hydrangea (not big-leaf hydrangea),
St. John’s wort, nandina, summer-blooming spirea, abelia, clethra, beautyberry, and
in general most anything that blooms in summer. If you haven’t flat-topped your
ornamental grasses yet, do it before they start their spring growth! If you
trim back ornamental grasses too late, the new leaves will be clipped.
How about pruning things grown for foliage? You can also do major pruning in
the dormant season on aucubas, arborvitae, boxwoods, eleagnus, euonymus,
hollies (evergreen types – check on the deciduous ones), junipers, yews and
plum yews, ornamental privets, and wax myrtle. You can also do shaping and
light pruning in the warm months as needed.
Haven’t pruned your fruit trees yet? Dormant-season is the best time to prune
trees like apples, pears, peaches (dormant pruning is best but you can prune as
late as early to mid-March too), plums, bunch grapes, muscadines
(scuppernongs), and figs (figs have fruit both on old and new wood). Ornamental
pears (Bradford pears) are best dormant-pruned as well.
If you have a question, we’ve got an answer! Contact the Hall County Master Gardener Greenline with all of your home horticulture questions. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find it for you.
Ask YOUR garden questions online!
February - WINTER GARDENING CHORES
Be an observant gardener.
As fall fades to winter, plant growth subsides or ceases with the exception of a few hardy species and ubiquitous winter weeds. However, in our climate a gardener’s work, while less demanding, doesn’t cease. Take advantage of those days when the weather is pleasant to accomplish some of the following from December through February:
~ Service tillers, mowers and other mechanical equipment.
~ Cut pampas grass to ground level.
~ Harvest cabbage, peas, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, collards and other cold tolerant vegetables.
~ Collect evergreen foliage and mistletoe to use for decoration.
~ Apply slow release fertilizer to pansies and snapdragons.
~ Attract birds with feeders and suet stations.
~ Gather and compost any remaining accumulated leaves.
~ Continue to water newly planted evergreen shrubs regularly.
~ Remove old foliage from Lenten roses (Helleborus orientalis). Fertilize when new growth appears.
~ Start amaryllis bulbs in pots for gorgeous blooms six weeks later.
~ Remove any remaining dead vegetation from flower beds.
~ Prune fruit trees, except peaches, and fruiting vines. Prune peaches in early March.
~ Prune shade trees, roses and shrubs which bear blossoms on new growth.
~ Cut branches of forsythia, quince, spirea and saucer magnolia. Place them in a vase to force blooming.