This week in the garden: Feb. 16 - 22

Feb 15, 2024

This week in the garden: Feb. 16 - 22

Feb 15, 2024

Make some shopping expeditions to your favorite nurseries to select water-conserving trees, shrubs, and perennials.


  • Inspect trees for die-back and weak limbs, which are common in drought-stressed plants, and remove them before they become a safety hazard.
  • Leave frost-damaged growth on tender plants as protection until the danger of frost is past. Begin pruning as new growth emerges.
  • Keep fallen camellia petals picked up to avoid petal blight.


  • Finish deciduous pruning. Chip debris for mulch.
  • Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs until after they bloom.
  • Cut back scented geraniums to 18 inches.


  • Fertilize blooming ornamentals such as camellias and azaleas that have finished blooming.
  • Fertilize cool-season lawns late in the month if fall fertilization was missed.


  • Add permanent plantings of non-deciduous and needle evergreens.
  • Annuals: fibrous begonia, twinspur (Diascia).
  • Bulbs, corms, tubers: autumn crocus.
  • Fruits and vegetables: cabbage, lemon grass (Cymbopogon).
  • Perennials: Red-Hot Poker (Kniphofia), wallflower (Erysimum), blanket flower (Gaillardia).
  • Trees, shrubs, vines: bird of paradise bush (Caesalpinia), beautyberry (Callicarpa), bottlebrush (Callistemon).

Enjoy now

  • Annuals and perennials: calendula, larkspur (Consolida).
  • Bulbs, corms, tubers: daffodil, iris.
  • Trees, shrubs, vines: dogwood (Cornus), forsythia, lemon.
  • Fruits and vegetables: chives, fennel, kohlrabi, leek.

Things to ponder

  • Water may be scarce again this summer. Limit new plantings of annuals and bedding plants, and consider converting part of your landscape watering system to drip irrigation.