The weather in November and December can still be quite warm and wet but there is a possibility of autumn winds which can cause damage to large trees and shrubs. There is also a chance of snowfall during these two months, however, we can still get some bright spells and although the days are shorter the sun is not as strong it is a good time to wrap up warm and tidy and prepare the garden for the winter ahead.
Don’t forget to keep checking pots for vine weevil
Trees shrubs and climbers
Digby recommends: - Root grow mycorrhizal fungi
Pictures of trees and shrubs
Trees for autumn colour
Sorbus Autumn Spire and Joseph Rock
Cercis Forest Pansy
Acer Crimson King
Prunus Royal Burgundy
Shrubs for autumn interest
Callicarpa bodinieri Profusion
Cornus ‘Baton Rouge’
Pyracantha Orange Glow
Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’
Berberis various varieties
Choisya tenata Sundance (evergreen)
Looking good in the garden centre now
Camelia sasanqua in variety
A winter flowering camellia which is highly scented and evergreen
Digby’s Top Tips: -
With the weather now in decline now is a good time to think about protecting vulnerable plants such as tree ferns, banana plants and cannas.
These can withstand frost and snow conditions provided they are given adequate protection prior to freezing conditions. Their temperature tolerance is from -10 oc to 35 oc. If the temperatures do drop below -5 oc then the crown will need protecting by packing straw over it and placing a polyethene cap to keep out the rain. In colder areas the trunk can be wrapped in horticultural fleece and the fronds should be tied upright with straw packing in the centre. Double wrap the bundle with horticultural fleece, the root area can be mulched to protect the roots from any frosts.
The most common banana plant grown in most gardens is Musa basjoo these will tolerate a few mild frosts but will still need to be wrapped if the weather is harsh.
If your plant is in a small pot, then it can be moved into the greenhouse or conservatory.
On large planted plants: -
Remove all the leaves by making a sloping cut away from the centre of the stem as this will prevent rain and moisture going into the stem and rotting
Using horticultural fleece wrap the whole plant making sure that there are no exposed gaps, securely tie up the fleece so it stays in place but not too tight to damage the trunk
Using hessian wrap this tightly around the fleece to add another layer of protection
Cannas are grown from underground stems known as rhizomes which can be left in the ground if the weather is mild. Wait until the first frosts which will blacken the leaves, then cut the canna down to about 15cm (6in) and apply a mulch about 15cm (6in) deep.
However, if the weather is very cold and wet then pot grown plants can be moved to a frost-free place. For planted cannas the rhizomes will need to be lifted as they can rot in the ground. Remove any surplus soil, dry and store in trays with dry vermiculite or multi
purpose compost and store in a frost-free area, no watering should be necessary.
Heavy-duty thick fleece £7.99
Plant warming fleece covers £9.99
Digby recommends: -
Cyclamen Veranda £3.99 or 3 for £10.00
Available undercover now
As always, we are here for help and advice
Altons Plant Advice Team