January Landscape & Gardening Tips & To-dos

Need help planting a successful garden or landscape? Here are some January planting tips from the Dallas Arboretum horticulture staff and the Dallas County Master Gardeners that can help keep your home garden looking beautiful this winter, whilst having it ready and set up for success in Spring.

January’s focus is prep! Decide what plants need to be replaced or moved this month and create a wallet list of plants to watch for as you begin to peruse the nurseries in preparation spring.

– Plant annual color in beds and containers during days with warmer temperatures. Fertilize annuals regularly with a complete, water soluble fertilizer.
– Continue to plant new shade trees, fruit trees, and evergreen shrubs. Mulch root areas
– Continue to transplant established trees and shrubs while they are dormant.
– Finish planting pre-chilled tulip and hyacinth bulbs if you did not do so in December.
– Plant any bare-root plants including fruit and nut trees as well as roses.
– Continue planting pansies, snapdragons, kale, Swiss chard and other cool season annuals. Plant onion transplants anytime soil is ready. Plant spinach and snap peas mid to late month.
– Sow seeds in flats or containers to get a jump on the season. Petunias, begonias and impatiens can be started now.
– Tomatoes, peppers and beans can be started in late January into mid-February indoors, in a hot bed or heated greenhouse.
– Spring blooming bulbs can still be planted until mid-January in order to give them enough time to establish roots and bloom.


– Prune with a purpose. Do not “top” any trees or shrubs including crape myrtles. Never leave stubs. Cut flush against remaining branches on shrubs and along the branch collar on trees. Peach and plum trees should be pruned to encourage horizontal branching, remove any strongly vertical shoots.
– Continue to prune evergreen trees such as magnolias, live oaks, and wax myrtles to minimize possible ice damage.
– Re-shape evergreen shrubs and shade trees, as needed, during the winter dormant period.

Plant Care:

– Mulch new plantings to help retain moisture and insulate roots against cold temperatures.
– Keep frost cloth handy to cover any tender annuals, perennials or new plantings since January is usually the coldest month in North Texas.
– Check houseplants for insect pests such as scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites.
– Continue to mulch leaves from the lawn and remove debris from turf areas to reduce disease and insect problems.
– Continue to water lawn once every three weeks or so, if you have not had at least 1” of supplemental rain.
– Watch for scale insects on camellias, hollies, and euonymus.
– Water outdoor landscape plants, as needed, when the soil is dry. Water plants thoroughly before a hard freeze to reduce chances of freeze damage.
– Fertilize pansies and other winter annuals about once a month throughout the winter.
– Protect tender plants from hard freezes.
– Till and prepare new planting beds when soil is workable. Work in organic material. Add compost and mulch to all beds.
– Recycle your Christmas trees. Contact your city’s waste disposal department for sites. Know your soil by getting a soil test through Texas A&M.

– Plan your early spring vegetable garden. Sow seeds for spring annuals and veggies, inside, per instructions based on the last frost date for your area. They need full sun and temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees (watch out for cold window sills!).

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