In nature the most critical period of a plant’s life is shortly after germination. However, when buy a plant for your house, this period is the first two weeks after purchase. Evergreen Nursery does its best to help the process. Most plants are container grown for appropriate lengths of time in ideal soil mixes in proper growing conditions and with optimal amounts of water and fertilizer. Special care is taken to make sure plants are not overgrown for their container size. Better designed pots and soil additives in many of our smaller containers help the soil retain water and water borne nutrients longer. Use of light soil mixes and growing plants at the nursery (locally) where you but them helps Evergreen provide the best quality plants at the lowest prices and gives customers a head start to a successful garden. The next step to higher plant survival is yours.
Before buying a plant, consider its growing requirements and the location you want to place it. Analyze your drainage, irrigation and soil content. The next step is transplanting the plant. When you take the plant out of the pot you want to be careful with the root ball not to break any major roots. You should stick your finger in the center of the bottom of the root ball and slowly flare out the soil away from your finger. If there are larger roots winding around the soil you should gently pull them off the soil so the roots are no longer wrapping the root ball. Once that is done, you can now plant it in its hole. Be sure the plant is not lower than the surrounding grade. (See illustration) It should be about 1” above the grade around it so water and soil does not accumulate in the middle of the plant. This will cause a slow death as the water and soil slowly decomposes or rots the trunk.
Finally, it is water and food time. Initially you can add a handful of Gro-Power and Gypusm to the soil mix as you are planting. Then, fill the moat around the plant and let it drain three times. Keep the soil moist but not drenched the next couple weeks. The watering interval will vary depending on the plant, soil, and weather. You can speak with one of our horticulturists to figure out a watering schedule that best suits your micro-climate and soil conditions.
If there was a lot of root damage or if you would like some plant insurance, you can apply Root Stimulator or B-1 to the root zone at planting and then two more times, two weeks apart. This will help speed up the replacement of root hairs that were scraped off during transplanting.
Lastly, keep a daily eye on your newly planted friend over the next couple weeks. If it shows signs of stress, give us a call and let us help you before you let the plant die.