Winter Plant Care: Dormant Oil

While wintertime provides a break from many aspects of lawn and landscaping care, there are still a few things that can be done to help trees and perennial shrubs overwinter safely. In our part of the world, hard freezes and sustained low temperatures are rare, meaning certain types of pests and plant diseases may stick around. To treat and prevent these issues, dormant oil can be applied starting in late fall.

Dormant oils can be petroleum-based or made of fish oil or even plant oils, such as neem or canola. These oils are applied to trees and perennial plants in winter while temperatures are above 40F before spring growth begins. These oils treat and prevent soft-bodied arthropods such as mites, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects, as well as certain fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and black spot. Dormant oils work physically by suppressing the growth, feeding, respiration, and reproduction of these pests and diseases. Since their effects are physical and not chemical, this makes them safe to use on most kinds of plants and poses very little risk to pets and wildlife.

Looking for a plant care program that includes winter dormant oil, or have specific questions about caring for your landscaping? Call or email One Source services today!