Perfect time to prune freeze-damaged plants and shrubs - WNEM TV 5

Perfect time to prune freeze-damaged plants and shrubs

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Removing dead branches on a torch glow bougainvillea Removing dead branches on a torch glow bougainvillea

Despite how unsightly the dead branches and leaves looked in your yard following multiple Valley freezes, the advice was to leave them alone to help protect the root of the plant.

Now that we're warming up, "Don't mess around, cut 'em down," said landscaper Gary Hirsch of EnviroScape Services, LLC.

"Feel back into where see the green life and cut to that point.  We're doing a lot of rejuvenation cuts this year, we're cutting back farther than we normally would.  Get that dead material out of there and give your plant and opportunity to rejuvenate and grow back," Hirsch said.

Shrubs like bougainvillea or oleander are great candidates for a rejuvenation cut.  They should be cut roughly 12 to 18 inches off the ground to help stimulate the new growth and recycle themselves.

"You'll get a lot more color, you'll get a lot more new stimulated growth and you'll have a lot less maintenance and aggravation during the growing season," added Hirsch.

You also want to use good, sharp tools to get nice, clean cuts.

Hirsch recommended that after you've completed your cuts, topically fertilize your plant area with a 15/15 fertilizer.  Then give them a good watering, which will stimulate new root and flowering growth.

When it comes to your citrus, this is the time of year to fertilize, and most importantly, water.

"Hit the water, crank the water, you can hardly overwater citrus," said Hirsch.

For smaller cactus, Hirsch said the less you do, the better.  The dead parts tend to fall off and the plant will repair itself on it's own.

As far as weeds, pulling or raking them may only remove them temporarily.  When you pull manually, you often break the roots off in the soil and they're likely to come back.

Hirsch recommended using a systemic chemical application which will kill the entire weed down to the root.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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