Caring for New Plants

watering-new-plantsA newly transplanted tree or shrub needs special watering, fertilization, and protective care. The most important basic need of your new plant is water. To much or too little water can kill your plant. If you plant in the spring or summer, water thoroughly when planted then every 2 or 3 days unless it rains. In the fall your new plant is approaching dormancy. Water it thoroughly when painted, then once a week for 3 weeks, then every other week until it freezes. Watering depends on the weather. If it’s hot and dry, water more. If it’s cool or wet, water less. When you water, soak thoroughly by letting a trickle hose run for a long period of time.

new-plantFertilization of a new plant should focus on root growth. Use a fertilizer high in potassium to promote rapid root growth. Evergreens need an acidic fertilizer like Miracid. Follow the instructions provided on the fertilizer package. Too much fertilizer can be harmful to the plant.

Protection from rodents, weather, insects and disease is important while a tree reestablishes itself. In the winter, wrap the trunk of the tree to protect against rodents, sun and windburn. Additional protection against rodents would be to place a 30″ tall chicken wire cage around the base of the tree. Evergreens should be watered thoroughly prior to winter. To protect shrubs, mulch around and over the plant’s crown. Do this after the first couple freezes so you do not attract rodents, looking for winter nesting material, to the shrub.