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General Planting Maintenance Guide


Water is essential for plants to properly re-establish after installation, especially over the first two years following re-location. Most times your plant will show signs of water stress (wilting, dull and drooping foliage.) Typically the following can be used as a guide for watering once a week during the first 6-8 weeks following planting, or as weather necessitates. Considering the drought conditions that we have experienced recently, all plants that have been planted in the last 2-3 years should be watered regularly, and watched closely for signs of water stress.

Watering Guide for Shrubs:

Plant Size
Water Quantity
1.5-2 Gallons
4-5 Gallons
5-7 Gallons
7-9 Gallons

Watering Guide for Evergreen & Flowering Trees:

Plant Size
Water Quantity
5-7 Gallons
7-9 Gallons
9-11 Gallons

Watering Guide for Shade Trees:

Plant Size
Water Quantity
1.5-2” Caliper
8-10 Gallons
2.2-5” Caliper
12-15 Gallons
2.5-3” Caliper
15-18 Gallons


Most ornamental plants benefit from basic fertilizer program to maintain good health, color, and growth potential. As a general rule, use a fertilizer relatively low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus (such as 5-10-5) for fruiting and flowering plants. Use one higher in nitrogen (such as 10-6-4) for foliage plants. Excessive nitrogen will encourage lush vegetative growth but few flowers and fruit. Follow recommended rates on package.


(Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocuses, etc.) Most spring-flowering bulbs need more fertilizer than gardeners provide. In early spring as soon as leaves begin to emerge, apply about 1 pound of a 5-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet. Apply when leaves are dry. When flowers begin to fade, apply a second application of the 5-10-10 to keep the leaves green longer and to form flowers for next spring.


Apply a balanced fertilizer 10-10-10 at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square feet in early spring to most perennial plantings, and again in late spring to heavy feeders (Hosta, Peonies, Garden Phlox, Monk’s Hood, Astilbe, Meadow Sweets and Mums.)


Do not fertilize new rose plants until they have become established, usually a month after planting. For mature plants, begin fertilizing as the new growth starts in the spring. Use ¼ pound of a 5-10-10 fertilizer per plant. After the first flush flowers, repeat about once a month until August.


Little fertilizer is necessary, but an annual application of a regular lawn fertilizer with out weed control may be applied in early spring to enhance color and health of plant. (i.e. a clump of Zebra grass 1 ft in diameter, scatter 1 handful of fertilizer around every plant.


Pruning tree and shrubs should be done for the following reasons:

  1. Removal of dead or injured plant parts

  2. Removal of unusually long growth causing unbalanced appearance

  3. Size control

  4. Rejuvenation by removing old growth and forcing new growth

  5. Directing growth to develop a specific form in the landscape, i.e. hedge, mass, vertical element, etc.

The first year or two following installation, pruning should only involve #1,2 & 5 of the above

Pruning perennials should be done for the following reasons:

  1. To develop many more branches on which blooms may occur

  2. To remove dead flower heads with some choices allowing more flower bud development

  3. To remove dead growths after a heavy freeze to remove sources of disease and insects over winter. Note* plants such as ornamental grasses, sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Astilbe, etc. can offer great winter effects with dead plant parts and can be cut off in early spring. Become familiar with the specific needs of perennials in your landscape.

Please give us a call if you have any questions regarding your landscape maintenance.

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