Writer: Jane Moorman, (505) 249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
Did the February Big Chill kill back your yard plants, palm trees or cacti?
The New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences just launched six how-to videos on its Desert Blooms horticulture resource website to help homeowners deal with their frost-damaged plants.
"This easy-to-remember website, desertblooms.nmsu.edu, is a quick way to learn how to prune back and remove winter freeze, access hundreds of gardening videos and read quick tips customized for New Mexico," said Connie Padilla, webmaster for NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "Look for the freeze damage link on the Desert Blooms website and then explore plant selector to help find the ideal replacement plant for your landscape."
In the freeze pruning videos, Jeff Anderson, Dona Ana County Extension horticultural agent, demonstrates the proper way to prune southern New Mexico shrubs, trees, palms, cacti and succulents that were most commonly damaged by the below-zero weather in February. While pruning the plants back to new growth, Anderson provides information about raising and caring for the plants.
"I addressed the most prevalent inquires that I have received concerning oleanders, pine trees, palm trees and various types of cacti, such as prickly pear," Anderson said. "We want people to understand how to tell if a plant or tree is still alive, how and when to prune it and how much to prune. Sometimes you just need to watch the plant for a while in hopes of seeing signs of life."
The six seven- to eight-minute videos are divided into three two-part sections. Parts one and two focus on shrubs and trees, including oleander, Texas sage 'Sierra Bouquet' variety, pineapple guava, roses 'Golden Celebration' variety; Italian stone pine, Aleppo pine, pomegranate, and butterfly tree.
Video parts three and four feature palm trees, such as hybrid Mexican fan palm, pindo or pineapple jelly palm, date palm, California palm, Mediterranean fan palm, and needle palm.
Cactus varieties golden barrel, South American barrel, aloe hybrids, agave, prickly pear, Argentinean saguaro, silver torch, haystack, South African ruschia, and Argentinean hedgehog are addressed in parts five and six.
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