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Top 5 Gardening Must-Do’s for December ’22

Purple Christmas Cactus

December is here! These last few weeks of 2022 are sure to fly by. Our advice: make sure you spend some time in the garden to balance out the hectic holiday season. Here are our top to-do’s this month:  what to plant, gift ideas, holiday plant care, and more.  

Check out our December Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!

1. Plant These in December

There’s always the BEST time to get plants growing and here’s a few that LOVE this season as much as we do!

Strawberries…who could resist picking these sweet jewels in the Spring?

Onions…we grow short-day onion varieties here in South Texas. Lucky for us the 1015 Texas Supersweet is one of those along with tasty Texas Early White & Southern Belle Red.

Roses…our mild winters are perfect for big, beautiful roses & the cooler temps will only make them prettier and the flower color richer.

Trees…shade, flowering, small, big, they all benefit from planting now. Good root development during the cooler months of winter gives them better growth in spring and a deeper, stronger root system to withstand the summer heat.

Ornamental Cabbage…these winter classics need to be planted early this month and enjoyed through the season! Easy care, vibrant colors, and unique texture in the garden.

Alyssum…gorgeous white blooms all winter long. Did you know Alyssum flowers and leaves are edible? They have a pungent horseradish-y flavor.

2. Tips for Holiday Plants

Fresh-cut Christmas Trees…we give all of our trees a fresh cut and get them in water immediately to preserve their freshness. Many customers ask us for another fresh cut before they take the tree home. If you decide to have us do another fresh cut, or if you do it yourself, keep in mind that you have 10 minutes to get the tree in water before that cut seals over! Check water in your tree stand daily and keep it full. If you have pets who like to drink or splash the water, try covering with a piece of foil.

Poinsettias…Think of poinsettias as succulents – because they are! They are a type of euphorbia. That means give them a good drink, but let them dry out between waterings. Also, the leaves bruise and break easily, so avoid touching them as much as possible. So tempting to touch!

Christmas Cactus…Probably the easiest of all holiday plants, and they can last a LONG time! There are stories of Christmas Cacti that have been gifted and passed down through families for 100+ years. They like well-lit areas, but not direct sunlight. Let dry between waterings, then mist the leaves as well as water the soil when its time to water.

Living Holiday Trees…Junipers, Norfolk Pines, Loblolly Pines, Magnolias and Ficus trees all make great Christmas trees that can be planted outside after the holidays. If you bring these in for decorating, be sure they have good bright natural light. Keep watered but not too much, and as soon as the holidays are done…take them outdoors for a breath of fresh air and get them in the ground.

3. Think Gifts for Gardeners!

If you have gardeners on your list this year, we’ve got you covered! Quality tools like these classic French pruning sets, plant-able Christmas cards with wildflowers seeds embedded in them, self-watering ceramic mushrooms, and lots more unique garden gifts. And of course, plants!! If they’re picky, you can’t go wrong with a Gill’s gift card.

4. Plant, Feed, Water Winter Flowers

Winter flowers are AMAZING right now! Violas and Pansies are breathtaking and Geraniums are full of buds and blooms. All that blooming makes them hungry, so take a moment and fertilize your beauties. We love Plant Tone and or Hasta Gro. Both are organic and give you big results. Have that “one more empty pot” to fill?

5. Adjust Your Houseplant Care for Winter

Most houseplants will not experience a complete dormancy period during winter, but they will slow down growth and react to climatic changes like drier conditions inside the house. Give your houseplants more light and less water as temperatures and the amount of daylight hours drop. Dust/shine leaves regularly to ward off insects. Cooler temps = drier conditions and less of the humidity that houseplants love. Try grouping them together to create more humidity, or use a humidifier.

Reader Interactions


  1. Tara Buffington says

    Strawberries now? Awesome!
    Do you have any seedlings or can I start from seed?
    I’m thinking seedlings are best…

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