After a long winter, it is time to revitalize the plants. If you have cleaned out dead leaves and branches already, you have made space for the new growth, but have you given them their spring-season food yet?
We all know when the plants are starving, they are loosing their leaves and look skinny; so if we want them to look nice and full this year: the best time to give them food is when they are starting to grow.
All plants not native to South Florida or similar conditions will need some form of additive to thrive here, whether it is soil-improvement or nutritional support; thus, this is what all cultivated plants have in common: they need us to take care of them.
Although, if this years growth is starting out from last years meager condition of nutrition’s, there is not much hope that this years round is doing any different in the end. Sometimes we have to add something to get something, or the results we want.
Thus, when you are giving food/applying fertilizer, apply it under the drip-line of the canopy to the “end” of the roots, away from the trunk(s): because this is where the fertilizers are taken up by the smaller root-ends; do not throw fertilizers at the trunk or between multi-trunks. In addition, always water when fertilizing, or the plants will get burned. You will see the burn on the top-leaves after 2-4 days. If you are using fertilizers mixed with water: it is necessary to moisten the roots and any foliage before the application; hence, “Never fertilize on dry or thirsty roots!”
It is also important to remove dead leaves and branches on the plant. If you do not know if a branch is dead or not: make an angled cut in the bark, then lift to see if there is any healthy green under the bark. Branches growing crosswise tend to loose its leaves and die out, because of less light inside of the canopy. It is therefore beneficial to remove crossing branches from the start, before they take un-necessary nutrition’s and also interfere with the leading branches development.
Thus, remove all branches not directed in an outwards angel from the trunk/center. In this way, you are making more space for the leading branches to fully develop, and also more light and space for any flowers to come out.
Still, it is not that difficult to make the plants happy, and we all know: when they are happy, we get happy too! If you have an un-happy plant, send a photo and write to me at: RitaGlantz@yahoo.com
If you have a yard-project, visit www.FloridaYards.org