QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full sun to partial shade.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - Winter hardy in zone 10. In zones 3 to 9, plant in a container so you can move the plant indoors and treat as a house plant over winter, or move to a protected area (somewhere that doesn’t freeze) before the first frost.
3. Planting Distance - 5 to 6 feet apart in ground. One plant per 16-inch or larger container. Transplant into larger container as needed.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 3 to 4 feet tall in a container, up to 10 feet tall in tropical areas if planted in the ground with a 3 to 4 foot spread.
5. Bloom Time - Spring.
6. Planting Instructions - As indicated below.
For container planting: Fill the container with soil to within 4 inches of the top. Dig a hole in soil to insert the lower part of the root ball. Remove plastic containers and loosen up roots that have encircled the growing pot. Place the plant in the hole and back fill to original soil line. Water well, and if necessary, adjust the plant so that it is upright. Add additional soil to bring the level back up to the original soil line. Never insert the plant lower than the original top of the soil ball.
For in-ground planting in zone 10: Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly.
We recommend planting in a container for maximum performance and enjoyment. For gardeners who choose to plant in the ground we recommend having your soil tested periodically by your local County Extension Office (www.csrees.usda.gov/extension or by calling 1-800-333-4636). These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance. See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:
1. Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.
2. To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2-4 inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.
3. After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Adequate and consistent watering is essential during the plant's first year in your garden. Infrequent, long soakings of water that thoroughly saturate the soil surrounding the root zone are more effective than frequent light applications of water that may wet the top of the soil only.
Due to individual plant needs, geographical, and environmental conditions, a specific watering schedule is hard to define; however, as a rule of thumb you should not allow the soil to completely dry out. During periods of drought and extreme summer heat, you may need to water as often as every day.
Overwatering can be as damaging as under watering. Be sure that the area surrounding your plant does not become a water-holding bog and that there is adequate drainage to move excess water away from the plant.
Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.
Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - To maintain a topiary shape you will need to prune the plant. This plant will tolerate severe pruning. The best time to prune is after a burst of growth. Once your new plant begins to put more leaves on the dense mounds, you should wait until it fills out to the size you want and then prune away. We suggest you prune in mid-summer and then in late fall so your plant will be tidy through the winter. In the spring, let the new growth begin before pruning unless you have leaf material that is brown.
Keep the growth off the trunk for the first year, as this will cause the bark to callous up and additional shoot growth will be minimal, keeping the shape you desire with less work!.
Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.
Winterizing - Winter hardy only in zone 10. In zones cooler than 10 (3-9), plant should be grown in containers and moved to a protected area (somewhere that doesn't freeze) before the first frost in your area.
When you bring your plant indoors for the winter, select a room that is bright, preferably one with a southern exposure. Indoors, plants tend to dry out from lack of humidity; however, this does not mean to water them daily. Bathrooms, especially those with a southern exposure, will provide a naturally humid environment for your plants.
If you place your plant in any other room, you can boost the humidity level around your plant by filling a shallow tray with gravel and water then placing the pot in the tray. The water level should be slightly below the gravel so that the pot is not submerged in the water. You may also use a spray bottle to mist the plant with water once a week.
All other watering and feeding indoors should be reduced significantly. Do not over water or allow your plants to sit in water. Follow these simple steps and remove unsightly or dead growth over the winter to extend your plant’s performance.
In the spring when temperatures begin to rise, ease the plant into a full watering schedule and move back outdoors for the summer.
CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.