Do You Need Plant Insurance?
Do you need plant insurance? If you weren't born with a green thumb, you might think so. Gardening is a lot of trial and error, learning from mistakes and can be more art than science! However, there is a way to increase your chance of success with your newly planted trees and shrubs. The answer is root stimulator, one of our top selling products.
We like to call it "cheap plant insurance". It can be used on just about anything that's going from a container to the ground. We especially love it for trees, shrubs and perennials.
Root stimulator is formulated to enhance early root growth and strong root development. This is important because when a plant is first placed in the ground, the first thing it wants to do is set roots. Root stimulator encourages this process to occur faster, leading to more vigorous plant growth.
How Does it Work?
Root stimulator comes in a liquid concentrate. Mix with water according to the instructions and pour around the base of the plant. You can use root stimulator about twice a month for the first two to three months after planting. If your plant is doing alright after that, high five! If it starts to struggle, you can try using another round of applications.
Ease Stress from Transplanting
Root stimulator not only increases root production, it can also help relieve some of the stress from planting (for the plant, not for you, silly). This is known as "transplant shock". Sometimes when plants are moved from container to the ground disturbance of the roots or just a different soil environment can cause plants to "stress out". Yup, this can happen even if you did everything right.
Transplant stress can be seen within a few weeks after planting and is characterized by yellowing or browning leaves that fall off easily. Don't get discouraged if your plant does this! If your plant loses its leaves, it's still alive and is trying to conserve energy. Keep up your normal watering routine and use your buddy Mr. Root Stimulator. Many times, the plant will recover. Sometimes not. Remember, even the best gardeners still lose plants on occasion. But, those that use root stimulator lose them less often! Come by The Garden Center any time and we can show you which one to get. Happy Planting!
April Plant of the Month
Pineapple Guava is one of those plants you may have overlooked in the nurseries or the landscape through much of the season, but just look at them now! These tropical evergreens grow just fine here in south Texas with gorgeous flowers, edible fruit and gray green foliage year-round.
In the Landscape
Pineapple Guava make an excellent privacy screen, growing to about 12 or 15 feet without trimming. You can also keep them sheared back as a hedge or shape it into a topiary tree. Their thick gray green leaves give them a dense form. Grow them in well drained soil amended with some compost or soil conditioner. They'll thank ya. You can also grow these in large containers.
While Pineapple Guava can be planted in full sun and is considered drought tolerant once established; it may still struggle a bit with our hot summer sun. If it starts to drop leaves, there's your warning that it's too dry. Regular watering though summer and providing some shade in the afternoon will help 'em out quite a bit. Now here's a bit of good news: these shrubs can tolerate winter temperatures down to 10º!
Blooms and Fruit
Now let's get to the fun part. Fragrant Pineapple Guava blooms appear in early May with thick pink petals and red stamens. Hungry? Pick the petals for a sweet, crunchy snack. It will still set fruit if you're careful about plucking. The flowers can also be used as a nice edible garnish. Bees and butterflies love them too!
The small green fruit will start to ripen in the fall. To get the best crop, fertilize and water regularly during the summer. They are reported to taste the best when you let them ripen until they fall off the plant. If you pick them early, put them on a sunny windowsill like a tomato to let them ripen. The fruits have a minty-pineapple flavor, but some people say strawberry! Cut them in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon or quarter them and take a bite. Pineapple Guava fruits can be made into jelly, jam, used as pastry filling and more!
One of the best things about this plant? It's virtually pest free! Even the deer aren't interested in this plant. Those thick leaves just aren't very appetizing to them. Ready to plant some of these in your landscape? Come on by The Garden Center, we have them in several sizes!