New Plant Care

Your new landscape is a living investment.  Properly managed, it can provide value, functionality, beauty, and environmental benefits to your property.  Your new landscape will require some different maintenance needs than an established landscape.  Listed below is a list of maintenance requirements for your new landscape to help you with the proper management.

A member of our staff will stop by to inspect your new landscape 1-week, 1-month, and 1-year after your landscape has been installed. 

After a plant is installed it is going to require different watering requirements than an established plant.  It is difficult to give specific instructions for watering as soil types, plant type, and potting media will all play a role in how much water is required for the new plant.  We will however give you some guidelines for watering your new plants.

  • Feel the soil around the root ball of the plant.  If it is dry you can water, if it is wet, wait another day or two and check it again.
  • Water with a slow easy flow of water.  Give the water a chance to soak in around the root zone of the plant.  Quick watering with a forceful stream can result in a majority of the water running off.
  • Mulch around the plant.  This will help hold moisture.  DO NOT mound mulch around the base of the plant.  This may cause the stems or trunks to stay wet and rot.
  • Morning is the best time to water.  If you water in the afternoon there is a far better chance that the water will evaporate before it soaks in.
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves of the plant and try to water around the base.
  • Water deeply and less frequently.  This will force the roots to follow the water down into the soil creating a better root system.  Avoid frequent shallow watering.
  • Some plants require more water some require less.  For example Hydrangeas require more water while most evergreens and rhododendrons require less.  It is best to monitor your landscape and learn which plants dry out first and use them as indicator plants as to when you should water.
  • If the soil on your site is sandy you may need to water more often.  If it is more of a clay soil you will need to water less often.
  • Hot and windy days will cause a plant to dry out quickly.
  • Cool calm days may reduce the amount of watering needed.
  • In the event you have misty weather continue to check the soil.  Mist gives the illusion that there is a lot of moisture but in most cases it is not soaking into the ground.
  • Watch new plants for the first 3 years they are in the ground.  This is the time they will require extra watering if conditions dry out.
  • Keep weeds away from the plant as they will compete with the plant for moisture.

Start out with the below recommended watering times and monitor your plants.  Adjust your watering as you learn which plants need more water and which ones need less.

Perennials-water every day or two.

Shrubs-water every couple days to once a week.

Trees-water once a week with a trickle of water for 30 minutes.

When plants are wilting or drooping they may be dry.  If you have a wilting plant that does not improve after watering you may be over watering.  Cut back a bit.  If the plant seems sick and is turning a light green it may also be getting over watered.

Most new plants do not require extra fertilizer.  In many cases there is a granular slow release fertilizer that is in the potting media around the plant.  Wait a year and then apply a 1:1:1 or 1:2:1 ratio slow release fertilizer around the root zone of the plant.

Staking Trees
In most cases we do not recommend staking trees.  Trees that are not staked form a stronger root system and over time will be much stronger.  A tree that is leaning or in a high wind environment we may stake to keep if from falling over.   We generally will only leave a tree staked for a period of one year before removing the stakes.

Leaf Drop or Premature Fall Color
Planting is very stressful on a plant.  The plant is being moved from one location to another.  This may change the sun or shade levels and amount of wind that plant is accustomed to seeing.  The roots of the plant are often disturbed when it is planted.  These conditions can possibly cause leaf drop or premature fall color.  This is normal and within the year the plant should be returning to normal.  Some plants show signs of stress more than others so if you have a new landscape put in one plant may show signs of stress while the others do not.


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