New Landscape Care
a. Spring and Summer Planing: soak plants twice weekly in lieu of a good rainfall. Water twice monthly in the winter if it is dry AND windy. A heavy rain substitutes for a watering
b. Fall Planting: soak plants once weekly for one month after planting and twice a month in the winter if it is dry AND windy.
Lack of sufficient water during the first growing season is a major cause of plant loss. The limited root systems of these plants make them highly susceptible to dry weather damage. Supplemental watering is necessary. Wet the soil enough to soak through the base of the root system at each watering. Be aware that we have a heavy soil type which retains moisture very well, so over watering can also cause damage. If in doubt, probe the soil for moisture. Your plants roots should be moist, but not submerged in standing water.
Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the trees in the tree plots in front of their homes. Water weekly and water deeply. The first two years are very important in order to establish the trees' root systems.
Root Stimulator or Osmocote is the only recommended fertilizer for newly planted trees and shrubs. Use Root Stimulator three times at four week intervals. Follow provided instructions for application.
In the spring of the year after planting, fertilize all non-flowering plants with tree & shrub granular fertilizer. For best results repeat procedure one month later.
The year after planting flowering shrubs, fertilize with either Azalea or flowering shrub food, after they flower. To ensure flowering, 30% phosphate should be added to flowering plants before they flower, in the early spring.
When plants are established, apply fertilizer from trunk to drip line of the plant and water in immediately. Never fertilize plants int he fall! Spring and early summer only! Often, Root Stimulator can improve a plant that appears "sick".
Once plants are established, they become more self sufficient, hardy, and drought resistant. The first two years are the critical period. If you want your plants to flourish and not just survive, they require care and maintenance
Proper watering of dogwood trees is important. Dogwoods like cool moist roots, so keep mulched nicely, but keep mulch away from the trunk of the tree. Dogwoods need an equivalent of 1" of rain weekly during the summer months, so water as needed. Do not over water as the soil will not allow roots to breathe. Many fungal and bacterial problems can arise in overly wet soil. A balanced tree fertilizer should be applied in April. Water in fertilizer thoroughly.
Hand weeding is of course the most environmentally friendly method, however, Dacthal or Preen may be applied as a pre-emergence week killer in mulch beds. For an effective non-chemical solution, use a vinegar, salt and dish soap solution. Apply as directed in early March, late May, and early August.
Trim plants as desired, or as recommended by reference materials for each plant type. Generally, prune flowering plants after they flower, or you may cut off the bud or flower. Prune evergreens only after the new growth has appeared. On yews, boxwoods, and holly, prune ofter and heavily to promote compact and thick growth.
An anti-desiccant such as Wilt Pruf should be applied on evergreen plants. Plants can dry out and die in the winter due to dry AND windy conditions. Some watering during these times on evergreens can be very important.
All trees and shrubs carry a one year warranty for one time replacement to -20 degree Fahrenheit, provided they have been properly cared for as outlined. However, no warranty is given for the labor of replacement or herbaceous perennials. Our area is in temperature zone 5, which means that all plants planted are hardy in this area to -20 degrees. Many plants used are zone 3 & 4 plants, and can survive temperature extremes to -40 degrees. We refrain from planting zone 6 plants due to the possibility of serious winter damage or death.
Remember, your plants need special attention for at least 2 to 3 years until they firmly take root and can become tolerant to temperatures and weather extremes. After that, spring feeding and periodic watering during the hot and dry season will be all that is necessary. This, along with shearing or pruning, and your plants should flourish for years to come.
Indiana Native Plant List
(These plants will thrive in our region and are not invasive or damaging to local plant or animal life.)
Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana
Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis
White Pine, Pinus strobus
Common Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis
Tulip Poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera
Shagbark Hickory, Carya ovata
Red Maple, Acer rubrum
Oaks, Quercus (all spp.)
White Walnut or Butternut, Juglans cinerea
Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica
Common Serviceberry, Amelanchier arborea
New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus
Spicebush, Lindera benzoin
Common Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius
Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica
Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
Gray Dogwood, Cornus racemosa
Silky Dogwood, Cornus amomum
Virginia Sweetspire, Itea virginica
Common Winterberry, Ilex verticillata
Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
American Highbush Cranberry, Viburnum opulus var. americanum
Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum
Indian Grass, Sorghastrum nutans
Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium
Big Bluestem, Andropogon gerardii
Side-Oats Grama, Bouteloua curtipendula
Northern Seaoats, Chasmanthium latifolium
Virginia Wild Rye, Elymus virginicus
Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radicans
(and bloom window)
Virginia Bluebells -- April-May
Celandine Poppy -- April- May
Wild Geranium -- April-June
White Troutlily -- February-April
Spring Beauty -- April-May
Jacob's Ladder -- April-May
Bloodroot -- March-April
Dutchman's Breeches -- April-May
Wild Ginger -- April-June
Skunk Cabbage -- February-April
Native Nectar Plants
Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida
Blue Wild Indigo, Baptisia australis
Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa
Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa
Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis
Foxglove Beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis
Rough Blazing Star, Liatris aspera
Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa
New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
Common Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis