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December’s Gardening Checklist

The holiday season is upon us and there is much to do in the garden.

According to Hidden Hills Garden Designer and resident Linda McKendry and her blog at, here is a gardening checklist for December.


December is a great month to forage in the garden for DIY project’s like this succulent table top tree.



  • Begin planting bare-root roses, trees, vines, berries, and vegetables
  • Choose and plant sasanqua camellias and early blooming azaleas
  • Finish planting all spring-flowering bulbs, except tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses, on or before December.
  • Purchase permanent plants that are colorful in winter
  • Plant culinary herbs in pots for use in turkey stuffing
  • Continue to plant winter vegetables



  • Stop picking and deadheading roses; leave the hips on the bush
  • Start pruning deciduous fruit trees
  • Prune grapes
  • Prune low-chill raspberries and other berries
  • Prune native plants
  • Prune Wisteria by cutting off unwanted long twiners and prune roots of vines that fail to bloom.
  • Pick plant materials from the garden to use as holiday decorations
  • Mow cool-season lawns, including Bermuda that’s overseeded with winter ryegrass
  • Do not mow warm-season lawns



  • Do not fertilize roses
  • Feed cool-season flowers with a complete fertilizer for growth and bloom
  • Feed shade plants for bloom; give them adequate light
  • Feed cool-season lawns but not warm-season lawn



  • Do not water succulents growing in the ground
  • Continue to water other plants if the weather’s hot, dry, and windy
  • Do not water roses

Control Pests, Diseases, and Weeds


  • Spray peach and apricot trees for peach leaf curl
  • Use dormant spray on deciduous fruit trees and other woody plants that drop their leaves in winter

Also this Month


  • Prepare for frost in areas where it is expected by sheltering tropical plants growing in containers
  • Prepare beds for planting bare-root roses next month
  • Lift Dahlias and store them for the winter
  • Tie up permanent vines so they do not get knocked down by the rain or wind
  • Harvest winter vegetables as soon as they mature


Look for our Gardening Checklist coming in January!


Linda McKendry is owner of Linda McKendry Garden Design & Rose Care, a landscape design, horticulture & rose care company that specializes in creating beautiful gardens for its clients, educates its friends and business partners about the joys of gardening, and teaches classes on how to care for roses. When asked “What makes a garden?” She responds, “My personal idea of a garden is a space which includes a place to sit and smell the roses, a place where you can be refreshed by the sound and sight of water and an environment where you can experience the change of the seasons.” She can be reached at 818.974.0405,

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