December Gardening Tips

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Plants in Flower
• Witch Hazel
• Indoors: Amaryllis, Cyclamen, Poinsettia

Plants with Colorful Berries
• American Beautyberry, Burford Holly, Chinese Holly, Foster Holly, Nellie R. Stevens Holly, Nandina, Pyracantha, and Washington Hawthorn.

• None needed on plants outside.
• Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and lightly on your lawns if soil pH is below 6.0.
• Fertilize house plants as needed.

• After Christmas, plant live Christmas trees in the landscape. Keep these trees indoors no more than 14 days.
• At the end of the month plant tulips and hyacinths that have been in the fridge at least 6 weeks.

• Prune berry producing plants if berries are desired in table arrangements over the holidays.
• Prune dead or damaged wood from trees.
• Remove “weed” or undesirable trees from your landscape.

• None

Lawn Care
• Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.

• Take leaf cuttings of your favorite house plants like African violets and begonia.
• Hardwood cuttings of your landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, holly and hydrangea can be taken this month.

Specific Chores
• Put pine needles or wheat/barley straw over your strawberry plants.
• Keep your living Christmas tree outside until you are ready to decorate. White pine is a type of living tree that will do well in much of North Carolina.
• Make a list of needed repairs on garden tools and equipment. Repair or have them repaired after the holidays.
• Shop around for garden products for your favorite gardener.
• Greenery will last longer if sprayed with an antitranspirant.
• Keep your cut Christmas tree in water throughout the holiday season.
• Order fruit trees and grape vines for February or March planting, if not already done.
• Start plans for that spring garden.
• Clean and organize your gardening tools.
• Visit the Extension office for information on the holiday house plants like poinsettia and amaryllis.