Anti-Desiccant Spray: Certain broadleaf evergreens are susceptible to winter burn and drying from harsh winter winds here on Long Island. Drying is caused by moisture loss from the leaves by transpiration and the spraying of an anti-desiccant can help to prevent damage to your landscape plants. Anti-desiccant spray is organic based and lasts for approximately three months throughout the winter and helps to prevent water loss from your evergreens. Apply an anti-desiccant spray to your broad-leaved evergreens such as holly, rhododendron, cherry laurel, skip laurel, mountain laurel, Japanese skimmia, leucothoe, aucuba and boxwood when the daytime temperatures start falling below 50 degrees (around mid-November here in zone 7 Long Island). Apply when the temperatures are above freezing and there is no threat of rain or frost within 24 hours. (This tip applies to areas going into their winter season-temperatures dropping below freezing: 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Be sure to read all directions on the label since anti-desiccants can cause photo toxicity on some narrow needled evergreens such as Arborvitae and Spruce that could cause more harm than winter burn. Spraying in freezing temperaures
will do harm to the plant. Do not spray in freezing temperatures and allow time to dry before temperatures drop below 32oF or 0oC.
If there is a prolonged thaw in mid-winter it may be time to re-apply anti-desiccant spray to your broad-leaved evergreens, especially if there are more prolonged freezing temperatures on the way. Following this simple procedure can prolong the lifetime and vitality of your landscape plants.
Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2012, All Rights Reserved