Winter Ornamental Grass Care

Ornamental Grasses:  Winter cold and snow can harm the center of ornamental grasses causing them to “hollow out”.  To protect ornamental grasses such as ‘Miscanthus sinensis’ Maiden Grass or Dwarf Fountain Grass ‘Hameln’ avoid the temptation to cut them all the way back in Fall.  Instead keep the roots well protected  and wait until late March to early April to cut them back fully. If your grasses become a bit unruly by the end of Fall (November-December zone 7) then just cut back the plumes and leave the rest for early spring. Another trick is to wrap a bungee cord about half way up around the center and let the grasses drape over keeping them upright and in place. Ornamental grasses can add much interest to the winter landscape and be enjoyed all winter long. For more information visit: Fall-Garden-Maintenance-Pruning-&-Dividing-Ornamental-Grasses-and-Perennials

Author:  Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Anti-Desiccant Spray on Broadleaf Evergreens In November

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

Pruning Butterfly Bush

Buddlea (butterfly bush)
Butterfly Bush

Pruning Buddleia (Butterfly Bush): When doing your fall clean-up avoid pruning Butterfly Bush all the way back here in zone 7 where winter is approaching.  If  a severe winter is on the way this practice could be detrimental to your plant.  Rather,  wait until late winter/early spring (March-April) to perform this task.  At that point you may prune your plant all the way back and promote fresh new growth for spring.  Buddleia does benefit from a severe pruning in the start of the season to promote larger and more frequent blooms.   It is also beneficial to prune off dead and faded flowers on Butterfly Bush once the flowering season has completed (August/September) in order to put energy back into the plant and promote more blooms into fall. For more information on buddleia (butterfly bush)  visit…http://landscapedesignbylee.blogspot.com/2011/03/pruning-buddleia-butterfly-bush.html

Author:  Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2012, All Rights Reserved

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