Posted on December 19th, 2012 at 6:55 AM by Newark Ohio Garden Club




Evergreens are considered the backbone of the garden. Not only do they provide the background for the more colorful annuals and perennials, they provide winter color in the garden and landscape.


Providing winter protection for evergreens begins in the fall. These plants need to be thoroughly watered until the ground freezes. They need the equivalent of an inch of water per week. During a wet fall this step is usually not necessary.


Winter damage to evergreens does not come from cold temperatures but rather from the drying out of the plants. Evergreens and broadleaf evergreens do not lose their leaves in winter. As a result, they transpire or give off moisture through the leaves. With the ground frozen, the plants are unable to replenish needed water. The lack of moisture will cause browning or burning of the leaves. There are products on the market to protect these plants. Wilt Pruf and Wilt Stop are anti-desiccant sprays which protect the plants with a waxy substance. These products are readily available at local garden shops such as Cedars.


Breakage from winter winds, ice and snow is another problem for evergreens. Upright plants such as junipers and cedars can be wrapped with heavy twine or covered with mesh. Breakage can also be a result of trying to knock snow or ice off drooping branches.


Unfortunately, evergreens attract critters to the landscape. Broadleaf evergreens such as euonymus, rhododendron and even holly are deer candy when the ground is snow covered. Sprays to repel deer and small critters such as rabbits may need to be applied.


Other winter precautions are usually unnecessary since most woody plants are able to adapt to winter temperature. They, like many animals, become dormant during freezing temperatures. Springtime will determine in any damage has occurred over winter.