The coldest months in Houston can be a shock to our systems — and our plants! With January and February temperatures dipping low and the possibility of an overnight freeze or two, it’s important to pay attention to the weather. However, it is just as important to take care of your garden after the cooler months. These tips should help your garden become vibrant as we head into the spring and summer.
1. If it does freeze overnight, watch your plants over the next few days. Post-freeze damage can take several days to appear, so once some time has passed, check the base of the plants for signs of life. Most plants are hearty enough and will be fine.
2. At the end of the cold season, check for some green at the base of your plants. If you see any, cut back the dead or damaged growth all the way to the living parts. Also, remove all dead plants from your beds. It is important to wait until the spring to do this, because even damaged or dead plants will insulate living plants from future cold or freezing temperatures.
3. Post-winter is also a good time to remove dead branches on woody plants. Scratch the bark to see if the tissue underneath is green. If so, it’s alive. If it’s tan or brown, it may be dead. If you’re a maintenance client, our team will decide what should stay and what needs to go for the overall health of your plants.
4. Mulch is important year-round. In the winter, it will help protect plants from cold or freezing temperatures and in the spring, it will keep weeds at bay and retain moisture and a good solid temperature.
5. If you moved potted plants indoors, put them back outside. Or, if you plan to keep them inside for the rest of the winter, place them close to windows so they receive the right amount of light.
Want to cheer up from the winter blues? The months of January and February are a great time to plant cold-hardy flowers that will make your spring garden beautiful and bright. Pansies, dianthus and petunias are great to plant this time of year.