December Gardening Tips
for the Willamette Valley

by Rod Smith
Oregon Certified Nursery Professional

© 2002-2017 Rodney A. Smith
All rights reserved.
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Planting

Leftover bulbs can be planted in pots and put in a shady, protected place. After ten weeks, bring them into a sunny, warm place for early blooms.

For all winter color, plant winter pansies in pots, borders, or over bulbs. Ornamental cabbage and kale also provide nice winter color. Both will thrive if 1 tablespoon of Osmocote is put beneath each plant.

Christmas trees

Be sure to select a fresh tree. If a needle breaks when it is bent, it is fresh. If it just bends, it has already started to dry out. Be sure a fresh cut is made before putting tree in the stand, and immediately give the tree all the water it will drink. Spraying your tree with Wilt Pruf will add to the life and safety of the tree, as will adding a tree preservative to the water in the bowl.

Winter Weather

Protect broadleaf evergreens from cold weather by covering them with bedsheets or plastic. Tender plants, such as waxleaf privet, fragrant daphne and pittosporum need protection from temperatures below 25 degrees. Almost all broadleaf evergreens need protection from temperatures below 15 degrees. Remove plastic if the sun comes out or plants will overheat. Garden blanket can be left on because it breathes.

Brush snow off of plants with an upward motion so branches are not broken. Excessive ice can be melted off with water, but watch for re-freezing.

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