Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Western Mountains and High Plains

December, 2005
Regional Report

Turn Down Your Thermostat

Many holiday plants, such as azaleas and cyclamen, prefer cool temperatures. By keeping the room a bit cooler, these plants will keep their blooms longer and produce more flowers throughout the season.

Give Tropical Plants Warmth and Light

Many indoor plants are from the tropics and prefer warmer temperatures. Keep African violets, begonias, gardenias, bougainvilleas, and scheffleras, among others, in the warmest locations in your home where there is bright, indirect light.

Buy Bargain Bulbs

As long as the ground remains unfrozen, stop by the bulb displays at garden stores when shopping for the Christmas tree and evergreen boughs. Spring-flowering bulbs that are not shriveled or rotted are on a closeout sale. Plant them at will.

Protect Newly Planted Evergreens

Newly planted evergreens are more prone to wind and sun damage the first growing season. Protect them with stakes and burlap. Make a frame around the evergreen with wooden stakes and then secure the burlap to the frame. This will reduce wind damage, dehydration, and sunscald injury.

Water Landscape Plants

Do the December watering chore, if it's been mild and dry. Water new and established lawns that are in sunny exposures. Trees and shrubs need watering, too. Use a frog-eye sprinkler to apply water early in the day and when the ground is not frozen. Drain the hose before nightfall and store away for the next time.


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