Time to Plant & Prune Fruit Trees & Roses in Southern California

March 11, 2010 by Mario  
Filed under 18

January is a good time to plant dormant fruit trees and roses for wonderful springtime color and fruit harvest. With Southern California’s normally mild winters, a variety of vegetable and berry plants will also do well when planted in January.

Plant dormant fruit and rose trees: Bare root fruit trees and roses may appear lifeless in winter but will grow heartily in spring and summer if planted now. Plant apricot, plum, apple, pear and peach trees, and all types of rose bushes. Add organic compost planting mix to the soil to increase soil aeration and to keep in moisture.

Plant California Native Vegetation:  Winter is the ideal time to plant California native vegetation. Winter rains give them a healthy start. Plant such natives as iris, Manzanita, sycamore, yarrow and Matilija poppy.

Prune and Pinch: Prune deciduous trees and shrubs and pinch back dead portions of perennial and annual flowers to keep plants looking fit. For roses, prune no more than one-half of new growth from the previous growing season. Pruning and pinching encourages new growth that will produce fuller flowers and larger fruit.

Plant Winter Vegetables: For gardeners who can’t wait until spring to plant a vegetable garden, cool weather vegetables are ready to plant in January. They include artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, peas, potatoes spinach and strawberries.

Extending the Life of Poinsettias: Poinsettia flowers will usually remain healthy into March. After March, cut back the stems to no more than eight inches tall. By June, new growth will begin. Keep the plant in indirect, natural sunlight and the soil moderately moist. When the weather warms, bring the plant outside and transplant into a bigger pot. Prune as needed so the plant is bushy. Flowers will begin to grow in October and reach their peak of beauty in November and December.

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