What to do with your new plants You’ve just received your first shipment of liners from Spring Meadow Nursery – congratulations!
But what are you supposed to do with them?First, remove them from the boxes and let them acclimate for a few days in a shady spot.
A shaded house is perfect; a shade tree will work fine, too, for smaller orders. Wherever it is, be sure you can easily water the plants. They need watering when you first unpack them, and will need regular watering over the next few days. Determine what size pot to use for each plant.
You will need to consider the size of the liner (2 ¼”, 4” or Quick Turn pots) and the type of plant. A good rule of thumb is to put a 2 ¼” pot into a gallon pot, while 4” pots and Quick Turns may be planted into two-gallon pots. However, faster growing plants like Buddleia and Caryopteris should go into larger containers unless you are planning to sell them that same season. Please refer to the Spring Meadow Nursery catalog for guidance as to the growth rate of plants. Gr = 0.5 indicates that the plant will finish a one gallon in approximately half a season; gr 1 plants will need a full season, and gr 1.5 plants will require one and half seasons to finish a one gallon.
If you are planning to grow the plants on to larger sizes, such as a five or seven gallon, don’t plant the liners in the larger pots immediately. They will do better if stepped up gradually. This is particularly true of plants that are sensitive to soggy soils, like Syringa.Use a well-drained potting mix.
Plants need water, but roots need plenty of air to take up water. Garden soils hold too much water when used in a container. This is why growers use artificial soil mixes that have lots of pores and better drainage. Shrub container mixes are most often based on composted pine bark. Growers then add component such as sand, rice hulls, compost or peat moss. Peat, sand and compost increase water holding capacity. They should be used sparingly (typically less than 10%). Sand increases the weight helps to reduces plants from blowing over. Rice hulls can be used in greater percentages as they are inexpensive filler. If you are creating your own growing mix we recommend that you read more at http://bit.ly/IWCH3V or (Google search: Container Soils and Soilless Media)Don’t plant the liners too deep.
You want the soil level in the new container to be just above the level in the liner pots. It is also a good idea to leave about ½ inch of space to the top of the container, especially if you plan to top dress with fertilizer.Fertilize the plants within a day or two of transplanting.
You’ll want to water them in immediately after planting, and then apply fertilizer. We recommend top dressing with a high nitrogen slow release fertilizer such as 18-6-12 (i.e. Polyon, Osmocote, Nutricote, Woodace). Heavy feeders such as hibiscus and burning bush will benefit from an additional liquid feed.
Match the fertilizer to your growing season. Slow release fertilizers are often formulated to release over 2, 6, 9 or 12 months. It is important that the nitrogen tapers off by autumn so the plants harden off for winter. (To learn more visit http://bit.ly/JlRhzq or Google search: Slow Fertilizers in Container Nursery Crops) If possible, apply a preventative drench.
We recommend Subdue and Medallion, used at the label rate. Subdue is a fungicide used to control Phytopthora and Pythium, two common causes of root rot. Medallion fungicide is used to control Rhizoctonia. This is not absolutely necessary, but drenching can reduce stress and potential plant losses. Another option is to monitor the crop and if you see any signs of decline, drench immediately. The first few weeks are the most critical time for your crop so monitor closely.Water regularly
but allow the potting mix to dry down a bit between waterings. New crops cannot take being continually saturated or totally dried out. Again, monitor closely. To learn more http://bit.ly/JlRDpJPrune early and often when the plants are in the early stages of growth.
This will help to produce a nice finished plant with good branching and a nice habit. It’s probably best not to prune at the same time as transplanting, but when you see 2-4” of new growth it’s time to trim. Each time you shear off the growing tip of an actively growing shrub, it creates two or more new branches. Repeating this develops a bushy, well branched plant and the potential for more flowers. Thank you again for buying our plants.
We appreciate your business, and want you to be successful growing our plants. If you have any questions, please contact your sales representative.