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November 12, 2016

QuestionRecently I had a local nursery install several plants at the back of my condo in Russellville, consisting of Sky Pencil Holly, Soft Touch Holly, Knock Out Roses, Camellia, a Teddy Bear Magnolia, a Japanese Lace Leaf Maple along with some Encore Azaleas and Distylium. My question is, should I fertilize these plants now, if so what type of plant food would be best. Thank you.

AnswerNever apply fertilizer this late in the season.  You want the plants to go dormant, not put on new growth as they head into winter.  Do pay attention to water needs, we continue to be quite dry.  Pay particular attention when it does get cold.  If plants are too dry heading into a hard freeze they are more prone to winter damage. The key  for you is to get the roots established this winter, and worry about fertilizing when they are kicking into new growth next April or May.


November 2010

QuestionA friend is giving me some large hydrangea shrubs which I must move to my location. When is the best time to transplant them? They are huge! How much of the roots must I dig up? Send me all the information I need on transplanting.


AnswerUnless the friend is moving and you have to move them now, wait until the bulk of winter has passed and then move them in late February through mid March. They will be more winter hardy now with their roots intact. When you move them, get as much of a root ball as you can manage to move and get them in their new soil as soon as possible, planting them at the same depth they are currently growing. Make sure that you plant them where they get full morning sun and afternoon shade, or filtered sunlight. They won't bloom in heavy shade and they will wilt daily with full sun. You may have to thin them out a bit during the move, but remember that flowers are set and if you want blooms this first year in your yard, you want them as intact as possible. Water well the entire first year, and as needed thereafter. No fertilizer in the planting hole, but if you want deep pink flowers mix lime into the planting soil. If you want deep blue, mix in some wettable sulfur.


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