7 Ways to Take Care of Your Ornamental Plants
Between severe storms and extreme temperatures, summer time in Atlanta can have damaging effects on your ornamental plants if you don’t provide proper care. Your grass benefits greatly from local lawn treatment services, but don’t forget that your ornamental trees and shrubs need attention too! A landscape management program that includes fertilization, proper watering, staking, pruning, mulching, weed prevention and insect control goes a long way towards supporting healthy ornamentals.
- Fertilizing– Just like you give your lawn fertilizer, you need to provide your plants with the appropriate fertilizers for strong growth. There are a variety of fertilizers on the market for you to choose from. You’ll want to not only consider cost, but also the nutrient content in relation to the needs of the plants you’re fertilizing.
- Watering– Take the same watering approach with most ornamentals as you would with your lawn. Water deeply, giving a good soaking weekly rather than shallow, infrequent watering. Watering in the morning will also help avoid evaporation so the water can penetrate the roots. Be cautious that some ornamentals are very drought tolerant and overwatering can be a concern. The amount of water will depend on the type of plant and the soil it’s planted in. Look to your plants for signs of dehydration. Any wilting or yellowing is a good indication your ornamentals need water.
- Stabilizing– Use stakes to support taller plants and protect them from severe summer thunderstorms that bring heavy winds. Without staking, tall annuals and perennials, like lilies, can droop to the soil after a heavy rain.
- Pruning– Maintain the shape of your ornamental plants and remove dead or diseased branches by pruning. Most plants can benefit from some summer thinning to help increase air circulation and encourage new growth.
- Mulching- If you haven’t freshened up your beds with a new layer of mulch in the past year, now is the time. Plants really benefit from the root insulation that mulch provides in the extreme summer heat. Mulch will also discourage weed growth and retain moisture in the soil for the plants.
- Weed Prevention– Keeping weeds out is another part of effectively caring for your ornamentals. Weeds can compete with plants for water and nutrients in the soil. Mulching is one approach towards weed prevention, but landscape fabric, ornamental bed treatments and hand pulling weeds are other effective options from stopping weeds from growing out of your ornamental beds.
- Disease and Pest Control– When implementing the above measures as part of your ornamental care regimen, you will encourage healthy plants to grow and diminish the chance of damage from pests or diseases. But it’s not a zero chance! Be alert to signs of damage like discoloration or holes in the foliage. If you have concerns, contact us and we will be happy to outline a treatment plan for you.
After all this hard work, don’t forget to reap the rewards of caring for your ornamentals. Enjoy the blooms or shade of your garden this summer or bring some freshly cut flowers indoors from your rose bushes or azaleas to brighten up your day!