Home & Garden

Remember plants when temperatures drop

This angel’s trumpet plant was damaged by frost. The stems are still firm though, which means it’s alive.
This angel’s trumpet plant was damaged by frost. The stems are still firm though, which means it’s alive. Sacramento Bee file

Feel the chill? It’s December and that means frost danger is a constant threat. If frost is in the forecast, prepare your garden before sundown. Mulch, water and cover (with cloth, not plastic) to protect tender plants. Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Be sure to remove coverings during the day.

▪  Brighten the holidays with potted poinsettias and amaryllis. Indoors, poinsettias will last longer if placed in a warm, sunny location away from heating vents or drafts. Poke holes in the foil wrapper for drainage and place the potted plant on a plate or saucer.

▪  Outdoors, add color to the garden with calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies, violas and primroses.

▪  Time to get the tulips out of the fridge and into the ground. Also plant such spring-flowering bulbs as daffodils, callas and Dutch iris.

▪  Bare-root season has begun. Besides fruit trees and rose bushes, plant dormant cane berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

▪  Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

▪  After storms, dump standing water that may have collected in saucers under potted plants to avoid root rot.

  Comments