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December Garden Calendar – NC Mountains

December Garden Calendar

Plants in Flower

  • Witch Hazel
  • Indoors: Amaryllis, Cyclamen, Poinsettia

Plants with Colorful Berries

  • American Beautyberry, Burford Holly, Chinese Holly, Foster Holly, Nellie R. Stevens Holly, Nandina, Pyracantha, and Washington Hawthorn.

What to Fertilize

  • None needed on plants outside.
  • Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and lightly on your lawns if soil pH is below 6.0.
  • Fertilize house plants as needed.

What to Plant

  • After Christmas, plant live Christmas trees in the landscape. Keep these trees indoors no more than 14 days. Consider using LED lights to reduce heat on the tree.

What to Prune

  • Prune berry producing plants if berries are desired in table arrangements over the holidays.
  • Remove “weed” or undesirable trees from your landscape.

Pest Outlook

  • None

Lawn Care

  • Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.


  • Take leaf cuttings of your favorite house plants like African violets and begonia.
  • Hardwood cuttings of your landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, holly and hydrangea can be taken this month.

Specific Chores

  • Put pine needles or wheat/barley straw over your strawberry plants.
  • Keep your living Christmas tree outside until you are ready to decorate. White pine and Norway Spruce are living trees that will do well in much of North Carolina.
  • Make a list of needed repairs on garden tools and equipment. Repair or have them repaired after the holidays.
  • Shop around for garden products for your favorite gardener.
  • Keep your cut Christmas tree in water throughout the holiday season.
  • Order fruit trees and grape vines for February or March planting, if not already done.
  • Visit the Extension Center for information on the holiday house plants like poinsettia and amaryllis.

All Year’s Garden Calendar