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Blog & News

Head Gardener's tips for December

30th November 2017


  • Try not to give into the temptation of watering your houseplants too much over the winter months. Plants can recover very quickly if they are dry but once you’ve watered too much the plants can wilt and take a long time to recover. As a guide, always let your plant wilt a little between watering but make sure that the plant is flagging because it’s dry rather than waterlogged before you add more water to its roots.
  • Reduce the size of your hybrid tea and floribunda roses by half. This avoids root rock caused by high winds during the winter. You can then prune your roses thoroughly in late winter/early spring. This technique also works well for Buddleia.
  • Oriental hellebores look great in the spring but their tired foliage can sometimes let them down. Christmas time is ideal to remove the old foliage so that you remove any distraction from the flowers and in turn encourages fresh new growth for the growing season ahead.
  • Clay or heavy soils can be difficult to work on during the winter due to their moisture retention. If digging or forking over the ground is carried out before Christmas, you reduce the amount of compaction, therefore improving root health and allowing the frost to help break down those large lumps of soil as it freezes and thaws.
  • Prune established apple trees by removing damaged or crossing branches. Try not to take more than a quarter of the growth out when you prune each year as you will encourage lots of water shoots which will not be fruit bearing for a long time.