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Garden Tips for February


  • Select and plant summer-blooming bulbs such as amaryllis, calla, canna, dahlia, gladiolus, lily, tuberose, tuberous begonia, and tiger flower. Mulch them well.
  • Summer-blooming bulbs that have overwintered indoors can be brought outside now; mulch them well.
  • There’s still time to broadcast seeds of spring-blooming native annuals.


  • Finish pruning roses, cane berries, deciduous trees, grapes, and wisteria.
  • Fertilize spring bloomers and fall-planted perennials.
  • Fertilize asparagus and strawberries.
  • Fertilize mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

Pest and disease control

  • Remove and discard old flowers from azaleas and camellias to reduce petal blight.
  • Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water.
  • Mulch 3 to 4 inches deep around plants (but not against stems) to control weeds and conserve moisture.
  • As the weather warms, handpick, trap, or put up barriers for slugs and snails or use pet-friendly bait.
  • For color indoors
  • Force flowering branches into bloom by bringing them indoors when they begin to bud. They will open in the warmth and add color to your winter days. You can force-bloom dogwood, spicebush, serviceberry, redbud, forsythia, pussy willow, quince, and spirea. Cut branches at an angle, then put into water. Change water every three to four days; a show of blooms should appear in about three weeks.