How Winter Landscape Maintenance Practices Can Affect Your Plants
Plus, a simple tip to help!
Did you know that your winter landscaping practices—like where you pile your snow and how you manage ice—can affect the health of your plants?
For example, if you use de-icing salts on sidewalks or streets, your plants can be exposed to them when ice melts and water runs off. When that exposure is excessive, your plants can become stressed and malnourished, dry out, turn yellow and die back.
And often times, these issues don’t show up until spring!
As for snow piles, some plants do great with snow cover.
Not so much.
If you’d like to help your plants stay healthy, keep your landscape looking good, and protect the money you’ve put into your landscape…
One thing you can do this winter is take photos.
As your home or your HOA community gets snow this winter, take photos of:
- Where your downspouts are
- Where the ice builds up on your walkways (and de-icing substances are being used)
- Where the run-off for that ice melt is going (where does that wash end up?)
- Where snow is being piled up. That way, you can see which plants are sitting under snow for long periods of time and/or which plants may have a lot of weight on them.
This can help you—or your landscape designer—be strategic in the plants you choose for your landscape.
Or, you may decide to adjust some of your winter landscape maintenance practices.
Want to learn more?
- Rutgers Cooperative Extension has a helpful overview of the impact of de-icing salts on plants.
- Michigan State University Extension has photos and info about winter salt injury to evergreen plants like junipers.
- Utah State University Extension has a good summary of different winter injury issues that can affect landscape plants.