Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

December, 2000
Regional Report

Florists Azalea Care

If you received a blooming azalea for the holidays, place it in a 60F room with bright indirect light to keep it blooming well. Place the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water or mist the foliage with water once a week. To water it, every 2 weeks plunge the pot into a pail of lukewarm water to which you've added a half teaspoon of aluminum sulphate and let it sit there for 5-10 minutes.

Check Winter Mulch

After the wind and snowstorms of recent weeks, be sure to check the winter mulch around perennials, replacing it where necessary. Pine boughs placed over a leaf mulch will help to keep the mulch and snow in place. Boards or wire netting can also be used. Try to encourage snow to accumulate over the plants - it's a great winter mulch.

Cyclamen Care

Tender types of houseplant cyclamen are in full bloom during the winter. Preserve their beauty by keeping them in a cool (60F to 65F) room in bright indirect light. Maintain humidity by placing the pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water. Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid getting water on the leaves.

Spray Evergreens

Keep broad-leaved evergreens such as rhododendron from drying out in winter winds by spraying the foliage with an anti-drying agent called anti-desiccant. Make sure the temperature will be above 40F for an hour or two before and after spraying. You may have to repeat the spraying in late winter.

Rocksalt Alternatives

Excessive use of rocksalt on walks and driveways to melt ice will lead to run-off onto lawns, beds, and gardens, resulting in serious injury to plants in those areas. Wood ashes, kitty litter, sand, or even granular fertilizer are safer alternatives for melting snow and ice.


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