When should I transplant?

Early Spring while the plant is still dormant (before the new leaves come out)

HELP! My blue hydrangea is pink!

This means that your soil is too basic. To make your hydrangea blue again you can add sulfur to the soil. You can add lime to the soil to make it pink also if you should wish to do so.

What are some plants that attract butterflies?

These are the ones we have in stock

What are some plants that attract humming birds?

These are the ones we have in stock

What are some plants for shady areas?

These are some that we carry

What are some plants for wet areas?

These are some that we carry

How often do I need to water my plants?

In the New Castle area most of us have very heavy clay soil. Shrubs and trees planted in the landscape generally need a deep watering once a week. A deep watering is taking a hose to the base of the plant and allowing the water to trickle for 20 to 30 minutes. If the temperatures are in the 90’s or the soil is extremely dry you may have to water this way twice a week until the soil becomes moist.

Containers filled with annuals will need water only when the soil is slightly moist to dry. I like to stick my finger in the soil to feel the moisture and lift the container until I become familiar with the water needs of the plants. Over watering is more dangerous to plant life than under watering. Generally containers will need water 3 to 4 times per week until late summer when the roots of the plants have completely filled the container.

Use the same procedure for hanging baskets as containers. Baskets will generally require water more frequently because the container size is smaller. Water the basket slowly until water comes out the bottom so all the soil is moist. Watering too fast will fill the basket to overflowing from the top and not permit enough water to penetrate to the bottom of the basket.

Why doesn’t my lilac bloom?

Lilacs need to be planted in a sunny location, if yours is in the shade that could be the first problem. Secondly, be sure to prune your lilac right after it has bloomed in the spring. The lilac will bloom next spring on the new growth produced after blooming. A lilac pruned in late summer or fall will loose this new growth therefore prohibiting blooming in the spring.

Why do my azaleas die all the time?

Azaleas are fussy about the soil they live in. They are not fans of our heavy clay soil. Choose a location in your yard protected from winter wind and amend your soil with organic rich supplements like peat moss, decomposed leaves, or compost. The roots need oxygen.

I want trees/shrubs that bloom all the time. What are my choices?

There are very few trees or shrubs that bloom all the time. Annual flowers will give you the best consistent color through our northern growing season. Most of our trees will only bloom in the spring. Tree Lilac, Fringe tree, and Kousa Dogwood and Sweetbay Magnolia bloom late spring, and Oxydendrum, Stewartia, and Tree Hydrangeas bloom mid summer.

Longer blooming shrubs include Potentilla, Hydrangeas and Shrub Roses.

Are there any plants that will stay small without pruning?

Everything grows every year or it dies. There are plants called dwarf or slow growers that by nature will stay smaller without a lot of pruning. Be advised, these plants are dwarf compared to the ‘normal’ size of the species. For example, normally a spruce tree will tower 40 to 60’, a dwarf spruce will rise 10 to 12’.

We carry many varieties of trees and shrubs that will grow at a slower rate than most. With yearly, selective pruning these plants can be maintained to a small size. Suggestions would be boxwood, some junipers, chamaecyparis and spruce.

How do I plant my shrubs?

Choose the proper location – sun or shade, depending on what the plant enjoys. Then proceed to dig a hole twice as wide as the container or the ball of the plant. The hole should be as deep as the container or to the crown of the ball.

Container plant – remove the plant from the container, place in center of hole, fill the hole with the soil you removed being careful not to place soil on top of root ball. A good rule of thumb is to allow the root ball to sit 1” above your soil level. As you fill the hole with soil, mound the soil to the top of the ball.

Balled & Burlap plant –DO NOT REMOVE THE BURLAP AND STRING! Place plant in center of hole, fill hole with the soil you removed being careful not to place soil on top of root ball. The root ball of a B&B (balled and burlap) plant has a natural taper at the top forming the ball. Determine where that taper begins to descend and plant the ball to that soil level. Cut off strings and burlap at the top of the ball after the hole has been filled. (Coming soon!!! A how-to video showing this process.)

Water the plant with a hose set at a trickle for 10 to 20 minutes. Place mulch around the plant being careful not to allow the mulch to touch the main trunk of the plant for that is like planting it too deeply.

When do I prune?

General rule: Most plants should be pruned after they bloom. Evergreens need pruned early to late June. Late winter is a great time to prune deciduous plants. Without the foliage, branching is easy to see so that old growth can be removed as well as shaping the plant.

Please check our plant descriptions on the nursery page of this website for specific pruning requirements of plants listed or call the nursery.