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Protect your plants this winter

By: Garden Gate staff
Winter weather can take a toll on your plants and leave you feeling helpless. It’s true that there’s nothing you can do to change the weather, but you can protect your plants.

protect your plants this winter

Winter weather can take a toll on your plants and leave you feeling helpless. It’s true that there’s nothing you can do to change the weather, but you can protect your plants.

When your evergreens turn brown on one side, it’s because the wind dried out the foliage. This happens with many evergreens, such as junipers, azaleas, arborvitae and dwarf Alberta spruce. Anti­desiccant sprays, such as Wilt-Pruf® or Wilt Stop®, can help.

After the ground freezes, spray down evergreens that are exposed to wind and sun. Antidesiccants coat foliage with wax to prevent moisture loss. Those on the south and west sides of your yard are particularly vulnerable, as are evergreens that don’t have protection from nearby fences or house walls. For especially tender evergreens, such as dwarf Alberta spruce, spray down all of the foliage.

For more hardy plants, like juniper, only spray down the tops of the foliage in the areas that are exposed. So if the back of your juniper is against a fence, for example, just concentrate on protecting the front. Spray until the antidesiccant drips off the ends of the leaves.

Antidesiccant sprays break down in sunlight, so reapply the spray every two months for maximum protection. Spray when the temperature won’t drop below freezing for at least 24 hours, so the spray has time to dry.

For more great plant care tips check out The Year in Gardening, Volume 16 at right!

Published: Dec. 21, 2010
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