We love our tropical plants and our evergreen shrubs, but dormancy and a lack of growth in the winter still occurs here. Most obviously, our lawn grasses go dormant in the “cold” weather and we don’t have to worry about cutting them. However, all plants will be less active in cooler weather. Don’t worry about plants not putting out new shoots or not growing any taller; they really shouldn’t be very active in winter. Trees like crape myrtle that are deciduous shouldn’t be fertilized now. We should wait to fertilize deciduous trees and shrubs until they are ready to leaf out again in March. Fertilizing early could cause new shoots that will get blasted off by the north wind.
Due to the shortness of the cold season and how warm it still is, we don’t recommend winter pruning just yet. February is our preferred month for those severe winter cuts. It also leaves your plants looking full for the holiday season. Deciduous fruit trees can be pruned in January; however, citrus, that have their fruit still on them, shouldn’t be pruned until after you harvest the fruit.