November 30, 2016

Arizona Winter Gardening MaintenanceArizona plants are hearty, but can still be damaged by winter frost. Check the weather daily and if frost is predicted then cover bougainvillea, hibiscus, lantana, fall annuals (geraniums and petunias), natal plum, plumbago, pigmy dates, ficus trees, orchids, and citrus. Always use sheets, blankets, or frost cloth (available at a nursery) to cover plants. No plastic! Protect tender cactus by placing styrofoam cups on the tips. If you are unsure of the hardiness of any particular plant call a nursery (or ask Google).

To maintain annual flowers, feed them with “superbloom” fertilizer. Make sure to deadhead old blooms to prolong the bloom cycle. “Deadhead”? What? No, don’t put your flowers in a baggie tie-dye shirt. Deadheading is simply the removal of flowers that have already put on their show. Easy!

Finally, begin harvesting citrus fruit (tangerines, navel orange, tangelos, lemons, grapefruit). The longer fruit stays on the tree the sweeter it becomes. Do taste tests to determine sweetness.

Source: Original writing assembled from Sunset Magazine and Whitfill Nursery

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