As Winter Sets In, Takes Steps to Protect Your Plants

Dec. 14th, 2015 by W Scott McAdam Jr.

It’s the last week of fall—even if the weather has been behaving more like the first week of the season. Soon enough, winter will be here, according to the calendar as well as the temperature.

With that in mind, do you ever wonder why your evergreens aren’t so green in the winter months? Or why you start spring with struggling or dying plants? 

Most often, this is caused by desiccation, or the drying of plant tissues. Since needles are just modified leaves and do not drop during the winter, they live and breathe 12 months a year, allowing moisture to be pulled from the plant when the ground is frozen and cannot take in any additional water. 

The result: bronzed, browned, or dying leaves. The solution: treat evergreens and broadleaf evergreens with anti-drying (also known as anti-desiccant) sprays.

These organic products break down from heat and light but their effectiveness can last from one to three months after application. To prevent harm to the plant, apply them when daytime highs are between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there is no rain or frost for 24 hours. 

Have questions about protecting your plants through the winter months? Want a treatment estimate? Simply give us a call! 

This appears as an "Ask the Plant" advertorial in the Dec. 16, 2015 edition of the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest, the Forest Park Review and the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark.