In order to keep your winter flowers blooming into May, you need to provide them with some regular attention. Take a morning coffee break with your garden a couple times a week so that you can enjoy your labors for several more months!
1. Deadhead your flowers weekly. Be sure to pinch them back to the originating stem, not just the flower. This will support continuous bloom.
2. Cut back ornamental grasses to just above ground level in February.
3. Fertilize your potted plants every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer. Best applied with a hose applicator.
4. Plant color annuals such as pansies, petunias, larkspur, primrose, poppy, stock, violas, alyssum, snapdragon and marigolds (warmer areas only.)
5. Watch shallow-rooted newly planted annuals, which can quickly dry out with spring winds.
6. Adjust watering schedule according to winter rains.
Create a “Tea Pot” as a fun gift for a tea-loving friend. Use a light weight pot or other container with drainage and good potting soil. Herbs that thrive in our desert heat can be mixed in the pot. Be sure to label them so your friend knows what each herb is. Include some information about the teas they can make with each herb.
Peppermint - this is a perennial favorite for many people. Its refreshing taste is uplifting and cleansing, as well as wonderful for stomach troubles of all kinds. Peppermint is generally very easy to grow and enjoys sunny and semi-shaded spots. Grows very, very easily and unless you want it escaping across the garden, keep it pot-bound. The leaves are the part used for making tea.
Violas — These cute flowers will add color to your pot and the flowers are edible. Freeze them in water making decorative ice cubes to put into the Peppermint ice tea!
Want to keep your money out of the compost heap? Sign up for the Desert Potted View and our Free Monthly Potted Garden tips - sign up at Potted Desert Newsletter.
Marylee is the founder and former owner of Tucson’s The Contained Gardener. With more than 15 years of successfully designing and growing potted gardens in the desert’s challenging and oftentimes harsh climate, Marylee has become known as the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for in-home or digital consultations and you can always email her with your questions and comments. Follow The Potted Desert on Facebook!
Marylee is also available for business growth counseling.