Gardening Tips: Signs Your Plants Are Stopping For Winter – How To Check


Fall is a great time of year to plant many kinds of hardy plants in the garden. The soil is still warm new plant roots will develop quickly and your new plants will establish themselves. However, other factories will start to “shut down” now as the days start to get shorter.

Rather than focusing on growth and leaves, plants instead focus on their roots.

Plants begin to “shut down” and go into “dormancy” at different times depending on the temperature.

In winter, plants will live off stored nutrients until next spring.

Water is also scarce when the ground is frozen, making it difficult for plants to absorb water.

Cold weather sees plants drop their leaves and go dormant.

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Nurseries regularly provide plants for ITV’s Love Your Garden, with Alan Titchmarsh and David Domoney.

Morris said “almost all of the factories” were closed for the winter.

He explained, “All woody plants will go into varying degrees of dormancy.

“The most obvious sign of this is when all the leaves start to fall later in the fall.

To check if your plant is dead or just dormant, Oklahoma State University has suggested something called an “instant scratch test.”

They said, “Start by picking out the tip of a pencil-sized twig.

“Take hold of the twig and fold it back tightly on itself. A living member will bend easily, and the stem will eventually split open, showing wet wood inside.

“A dead limb will break cleanly with very little pressure and appear dry on the inside.

“The scratch test is another common method. Use a knife or fingernail to scrape the bark off a young twig.

If the tree is alive, the bark will be green under the scratch.

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