– Winter

Below are our landscaping tips for winter:

What to do before a freeze

Water: Thoroughly watering landscape plants before a freeze may reduce the change of freeze damage. Many times cold weather is accompanied by strong, dry winds. These winds may cause damage by drying plants out, and watering helps to prevent this. Wetting the foliage of plants before a freeze does not, however, provide any cold protection. A well-watered soil will also absorb more solar radiation than dry soil and will re-radiate the heat during the night.

Move inside: Move all tender plants in containers and hanging baskets into buildings where the temperature will stay above freezing. If this is not possible, group all container plants in a protected area (like the inside corner of a covered patio) and cover them with plastic. If plants are kept inside for extended periods, make sure they receive as much light as possible.

Mulch:  For plants growing in the ground, mulches can help protect them. Use a loose, dry material such as pine straw or leaves. You should be aware that mulches will only protect what they cover. Mulch at the base of a bird-of-paradise will help the roots, but will provide no added protection to the leaves. Mulches, then, are best used to protect below-ground parts or crowns or may be used to completely cover low-growing plants to a depth of four inches. Leave complete cover on no more than three or four days.

Cover: If they are not too large, individual plants can be protected by covering them with various sized cardboard or Styrofoam boxes

Perennial Cutbacks

Proper care of plants in the cold winter months includes cutting back your deciduous perennials.  Knowing when and how to cut them back allows the perennials to focus on the growth necessary in early spring to maximize the foliage and blooms throughout the year.  Without proper care and attention, the plants will have to fight through the old growth in the spring time.  Perennial winter cut back is an important aspect of a landscape that is often overlooked; the time and effort spent during the off season will make a noticeable difference during the peak season.

Poinsettias

The holidays will be here soon and there is no better seasonal way to show it than with poinsettia – or if you prefer the scientific name euphorbia pulcherrima. Introduced in the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett (who fell in love with the plant called flor de noche Buena – while U.S. ambassador to Mexico in 1828 and began growing and giving them out as gifts in his home state of South Carolina), they make up 85% of potted plant sales during the holiday season.

Poinsettias are commercially grown in every state, with California the top producer, and though they come in other colors such as white, pink, orange, pale green and cream, red is the most popular and preferred. They can grow to be several feet in height and bear dark green leaves that measure three to six inches in length. To acquire color, it must be left in the dark for 12 hours at a time; at the same time the plant needs much light during the day to reach a bright color.

They are a perennial, tropical (non-tolerant freeze which means you must bring them in when it gets too cold) shrub that exudes holiday cheer with their vibrant and festive colors. Whether adding to your courtyard design outside or livening up your foyer to greet family, friends and guests inside, poinsettias are perfect for this time of year.

Holiday Lighting

Winter wonderland does not have the same meaning in Austin as it does in other locales, but that does not mean you are not able to make your property into one with the help from Elements Group. We have been providing our clients with the best and most creative holiday lighting for the past seven years.

We can help in two ways:

  • If you have your own decorations, we can set them up
  • Or we can design and install from scratch

The holidays will be here soon and a festive looking property adds to the seasons festivities, so contact us to help with your holiday fun.

If you want to set up a lighting appointment or have another question and would like to speak to one of our landscapers, please contact us at: 512-306-0505.