Broad leaf evergreen shrubs keep their leaves throughout the winter. Most of these plants are native to a little warmer climate than ours. It’s not that they can’t grow here; it’s just that our climate can throw a curve at them now and then.
Their biggest concern is water reserves. Where they are natively grown the winters are a little shorter and maybe not as harsh as ours can be. This means water reserves get replenished more often; here it’s “get it while you can, if you can”
The big thing about water storage within their root, trunk, and stem system is that it comes in handy during a January thaw, or in the event of an early spring warm up. The top feels the heat and starts asking for water; but if there’s nothing in the trunk or stems it tries to call it up from the roots. But guess what? The roots are still frozen. Have you ever tried to suck water through a straw whose end is frozen in an ice cube? Suck all you want, the best you’ll do is collapse the straw. With this dilemma the bush starts sacrificing leaves by turning them brown.j
Best thing you can do to ensure a water reserve is to slow trickle each plant for a couple hours each. Slow trickling will concentrate the water close to the plant and make it go deep. Standing there with the hose in your hand is not only a lesson in futility, for you couldn’t stand there long enough to make a difference. But let’s say you could; then it would just prove to yourself and the neighbors that you’ve got way too much time on your hands and you’re easily entertained.
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