Monthly Archives: July 2014

Now that you’ve bought your plant – care tips from Longacres

Acer leaves close upThere are a few things to do to make sure your plant doesn’t languish and unexpectedly die after you’ve transplanted it.

The growing medium in which you bought the plant may easily have become very desiccated. Water may largely drain out round the edges of the pot, giving the plant little opportunity to absorb it. In the garden centre plants are watered every day. At home it may often be left for a few days, there are no water reserves in the soil, so the plant gets nothing to drink and either dies or becomes poorly. When a plant’s roots have pretty much filled the pot it pays to stand the container in a deep saucer, water it thoroughly and let it stand in the water for an hour or two so the compost is thoroughly moist. Then replant it and give it a thorough watering as soon as it is in its new home. It pays to water regularly for a few weeks whilst the plant establishes itself in its new home, every day if the weather is very hot and dry and your garden soil is not retaining moisture around the plant.

When planting you should make the hole the right size, the soil line of the plant in the pot should be the same when it is in the ground. Many shrubby plants are grafted onto another rootstock and if they are settled more deeply into the earth the junction of the graft is below the ground and may start to produce another plant entirely. (Roses are a prime example of this issue.) There is always an exception to the rule, Clematis are generally buried more deeply – planting instructions are usually on the label when you buy these plants.

In many cases the plant has been in the pot in which you bought it for some time (especially by the end of summer). It may have become ‘pot-bound’. This means that the roots are crammed in and have circled tightly round and round. Even when it has been transplanted the roots can continue to grow in this same circle. They fail to reach out into the soil and therefore get little in the way of nourishment, or even water. The solution is to encourage the roots to move outwards by teasing some of them away from the tight packed root-ball. In all cases it’s worthwhile to spread the roots at the base of the container outwards to encourage them to reach into their new environment.

If you put your plant into another container the plant will use up the nutrients that are in the compost within a few weeks. After this time you will need to provide the plant with ‘food’ – a general purpose rose feed is the classic recommendation. There are many others! You can choose between short term and slow release fertilisers (these are more expensive but once having applied them it is job done for the season). Even in the garden plants will flower better if they are provided with extra nutrients from spring till the end of summer. The foliage of plants in nutrient-poor conditions can deteriorate quite rapidly.

Some types of plant only flower once a year, lilacs and peonies are examples of this. Other plants will continue to produce flowers if the old ones are promptly removed. This is the case with most modern roses and many popular herbaceous plants. If you regularly ‘deadhead’ by snipping off the bloom as it begins to fade the plant will make more flowers for you.

It is much less work than it sounds to keep your new plants alive and happy! Enjoy.

This Longacres Blog post contributed by Susan A. Tindall

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Loom band 2014

Climbers: The Secret to Beating the Midsummer Green Gap | Longacres

While the perennials take the spotlight on summer gardens, they also fade away rather quickly. After the first flush of blooms, the then-colourful garden becomes drab once more. In most cases, you would have to wait for a few months before the red hues of autumn take over.

Now, there are gardeners who are fine with this midsummer green gap, but when you spend a lot of time at home (the garden, specifically), you want it to be beautiful all year round. Fortunately, there are climbers that bloom during the height of summer.

Be it on trees, shrubs, or columns, climbers add some extra colour with their blooms. Here are some plants you can use to add some splash of hues on top of your green backdrop.

Chilean glory flower (Eccremocarpus scaber)

The Chilean glory flower is a fast-growing climber that blooms during mid to late summer. If you want to have the autumn look a few months earlier, this is the climber you have to get. This plant produces yellow, orange, and red tubular flowers from its wiry stems.

Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)

Black-eyed Susans can easily reach 6-7 feet in height, especially when trained up an obelisk. This is an easy-to-grow tender climber that commonly produces yellow or orange blooms with black centres. There are variants of pastel-coloured flowers for this too. Do note that this plant needs protection from cold winds.

Cup and saucer plant (Cobaea scandens)

This is perhaps one of the most attractive summertime climbers out there. A South American native plant, this perennial is best treated as an annual. With a bronze tint and purple-blue flowers, this is truly a charming piece to add to your garden.

Skyflower (Plumbago auriculata)

Subtle tones are rare in flowers, which is what makes the skyflower attractive. Sporting sky-blue blooms, this one is a truly desirable climber for your garden. You would need to prune this every couple of years, but this is a fast-growing conservatory plant perfect for outdoor gardens in mild areas.

Snapdragon vine (Maurandya antirrhiniflora)

A touch of yellow is always a welcome sight in a garden, which is why the snapdragon vine is a great option. Add this to your shrub and you can enjoy blooms of yellow hues in just a short time, perfect for that summer look and transition to autumn in a few months.

At Longacres, we can help you make these climbers bloom in your garden. We have different supplies that would boost their growth for a better space. We have a vast array of products for your garden from plants and climbers to barbecues. Talk to us to know more about what we offer.