Spring Plant Care

Spring Plant Care

Receiving and Planting

Congratulations! The plant stork has delivered your plant babies. Like most of us after prolonged air travel, your plants might arrive looking a little road weary. Not to worry - with your TLC, they'll perk right up. First, inspect your plant for any catastrophic issues, like the entire plant being separated from the root ball, or a completely dry, brown, or yellow plant. Broken leaves, minor stems breaks, wilting, and loose dirt is to be expected. Plants really aren't designed to jump multiple time zones in a box, but they get over it. (If you think any of your plants are beyond rescue, please take a picture right away and email us at hey@plantgem.com, or text us at 303-447-5921, and we'll help you out). Ideally, you'll want to plant your young plants within a couple days of receiving them. Until you can plant, carefully take them out of their green plastic shell, and place them in a bowl or bucket in a spot where they'll get some air circulation and light. Pour a little bit of water into the bowl, so that the root balls absorb the water from below, or very gently water the soil directly. When it's time to plant, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Fill a little bit of the loose dirt back into the hole and tuck your plant in so the base of the stem is even with the top of the hole. Your plant will arrive wrapped in a biodegradable piece of paper. You can plant your new flower friend right into the ground or a pot with this paper still wrapped around its roots. Now fill in the rest of the soil around the root ball, give the soft ground around the base of your plant a few solid pats to compress the soil onto the roots, and a long, gentle drink of water.

Sun, Soil, Water

Plants are like us - they all have different preferences, but at the end of the day, we all have the same basic needs. General rule of (green) thumb: if it grows flowers, it needs sunlight. Ideally, 6 hours or more. If you live in a zone that gets scorchin' hot in the summer (zones 8-10), then you might want to provide your plants with some afternoon shade. You'll observe that many plants will wilt in the heat of the day, then perk up again in the afternoon when some shade falls upon them. This is your plant protecting itself. However, if your plant doesn't perk up in the dappled afternoon light - water it! Most plants want even moisture - not too wet, not too dry. (Picture when you soak a sponge, then squeeze it - that kind of wet). What's the best way to find out when or how often to water? Stick your finger in the soil every other day for a week or two. If it's dry, water it. If it's wet, don't. You'll eventually learn how frequently you'll need to water in order to maintain that squeezed sponge level. As for soil quality, many plants can thrive in poor soil, but very few complain when planted in good soil! It's never a bad idea to supplement your soil with compost, or mix in quality top soil. We highly recommend our Arber products, for additional soil health and protection. 

Flowers and Foliage

The majority of our Spring Plants are prolific bloomers - they'll just go and go and go all summer, and picking the flowers encourages them to bloom more. However, we encourage you to visit your plants' individual product pages to get into the nitty-gritty details. For general maintenance, clip yellow, brown, or dried leaves. When your plant is about 9-12" tall you can pinch off the main growth tip to encourage a bushier plant with more blooms. 

Problem Solving

It's a wild world out there for a plant. Lots of things could happen. Bugs. Fungus. Critters. Extreme Weather. Errant Lawn Mowers. We highly recommend all our Arber products to help fend off bugs and fungi, and also to fortify your plants with probiotics to support healthy growth. If your plants have yellow, wilting leaves, that usually means they have too much or not enough water. Stick your finger in the dirt to find out which one! Make sure your plant has plenty of drainage if the soil is too wet - never plant in a pot with no holes in the bottom! If leaves have holes in the middle, you might be dealing with bugs. If leaves look oddly shriveled, covered in gray film, or have white fuzzy spots, there may be a fungus among us. A gentle, vegetable-safe, neem oil based spray works very well for both issues. Avoid spraying the flowers themselves, as we don’t want friendly pollinators to buzz off - just spray the leaves and stems. Also, be sure to water the whole plant when you do your watering - not just the soil and roots, to wash away invaders. Avoid the heat of the day when watering, so water droplets do not burn the leaves on your precious gems. Pull weeds around your plants so they don’t get crushed by the competition. If you've got hungry critters in your yard, plant in containers to prevent moles and voles from getting at them from below. Try a homemade spicy spray or protect the plants with wire fencing to keep the deer and bunnies at a bay. Cover or bring your plants inside if an unexpected frost is on the way.

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