QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure – Full sun.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - In-ground hardy in zones 7 to 9. In zones 1 to 6, plant in a container so you can move the plant indoors and treat as a house plant over winter, or to a protected area (somewhere that doesn’t freeze) before the first frost.
3. Planting Distance – 8 to 10 feet apart in-ground (zones 7 to 9) or one plant per 12 inch or larger container.
4. Mature Height/Spread – 8 to 10 feet in ground, smaller in a container.
5. Bloom Time – Spring.
6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant is grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the root ball from the pot. 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 replace the soil. Water thoroughly.
Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office. 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 to 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 for Fruits and Vegetables. 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 all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.
Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Remove any branches that become overlapped, damaged, or unsightly.
Feeding - Feed once a month during the growing season with a light solution (we recommend ½ strength) of water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster for Fruits and Vegetables. During the winter when the plant is in a period of slow activity withhold any further feedings. Resume fertilizing in early spring..
Winterizing - In-ground hardy only in zones 7 to 9. In zones 1 to 6, plants 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. 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 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 overwater or allow your plants to sit in water.
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.