QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE
1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full sun to partial shade.
2. USDA Hardiness Zones - Not winter hardy, plants should be planted in a container so you can move them to a protected area over winter.
3. Planting Distance - 8 to 15 inches apart in ground; one plant per 12 inch or larger container.
4. Mature Height/Spread - 'Ruby Slipper' 14 to 24 inches tall with a spread of 14 to 16 inches.
5. Bloom Time - N/A.
6. Planting Instructions -
Important: Thoroughly rehydrate the plant and its surrounding soil before planting so it may properly adapt to its new location. We recommend submersing the root zone of the plant in a container of water for 2-3 minutes while you prepare for planting.
1. Remove and discard the clear plastic bag from around the plant.
2. After watering, separate the root ball from its pot by holding the plant upside down in one hand and gently squeezing the sides of the pot with the other. Do not yank on the stem; the plant should easily slide out of the pot with just slight pulling.
3. Prepare the root ball for planting by gently disturbing the roots with your fingers, fork, or gardening tool. Loosen any roots that have begun winding around the soil ball and prune any rotted or damaged roots. This will encourage the roots to begin growing outward into the new soil.
4. Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the plant's root ball. 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 the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil.
5. 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. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.
Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground. Do not allow plants in containers to dry out. In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat. You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).
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. Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.
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 - No winter hardy. Plants should be grown in containers and moved to a protected area (somewhere that doesn't freeze) before the first frost in your area.
For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area, be sure to check the soil moisture every 7-10 days and water as needed.
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.