Arborvitae

is it okay to keep them in the containers they come in for long periods of time?. i bought one (6') last week and have yet to decide where to plant it...i know to keep it watered. thanks, cj
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wrote:

<http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=heeling+in+plants&ie =UTF-8&oe=UTF-8>
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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They should keep for many weeks or longer, best in cool conditions. Sure, they will become established faster the sooner you plant them. Soak them good immediately after planting, soak them again the following day, then as needed (maybe weekly). For now, don't fertilize them.
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Phisherman wrote:

what type and how much fertilizer would you recommend? and speaking of fertilizing can a lilac bush be fertilized? thanks, cj
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A lilac bush requires no fertilizer... it's outdoors, Mother Nature will tend to it.
Folks are becoming way too obsessed about fertilizer... perennials planted in reasonably friable soil of a proper range pH need no fertilizer, and in fact applying fertilizer does more harm than good... applying fertilizer discourages plants from developing a healthy root system... applying fertilizer discourages plants from growing a deep, widespread, and strong root system. Nobody fertilizes the native plants in forests and meadows, they receive more than sufficient nutrients from wildlife excrement and decaying plant matter. Potted plants need fertilizer but plants in the ground absolutely do not... by applying fertilizer to perennials outdoors you are forcing them to become potted plants. When planting conifers especially do NOT fertilize, or they will not send out feeder roots.
Arborvitae is no weakling, it's a survivor, that's why it's so popular at plant nurseries.... case in point, I have two American arborvitae that I rescued from a vacant house in the village that was vacant and for sale for a number of years, a realtor friend said take them... there they were in their original five gallon nursery pots sitting on concrete on either side of the paved walk leading to the front entry, still had the nursery tags, I know they were sitting there for three years because I passed at least once a week on my way to my PO Box... they received no care whatsoever other than water when it rained, and yet they looked perfectly healthy but weren't growing, they remained about 3' tall for all that time... they survived frigid winter temperatures in those pots of less than -20F (yes, that's a minus sign). They are now planted in the ground behind a fence near my house (without the fence here they'd be deer fodder), only difference is that they've more than tripled in size. I never fertilized them when I planted them or since.... just dug a hole, plopped them in, and watered just that once. I know that they are regularly fertilized because nearly every time I look there's a bird perched atop and there is always bird poop on the plants... in fact the one planted in my front bed with the other foundation shrubs has a bird nest way deep inside its branches... the other is planted on the other side of my house to block my AC unit from view. I've never fertilized any perennial planted outdoors, I don't fertilze flowering annuals either and they do fine... however I do fertilize my veggie garden, those annuals do require additional nutrients during their short fruiting season in order to increase yield, but still I fertilize very minimally, some years all I do is add a top dressing of my compost.
These were taken Sept. 2008:
http://i39.tinypic.com/4l3ba.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/j5xe7t.jpg
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I have a couple of arborvitae that died back on one side because the were butted up against a big shrub. I've trimmed back that shrub and now the dead sides of the arb. are visible and look terrible. I thought they'd come back quicker if I fertilize them. Should I not bother? Thanks.
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starrysmile wrote:

http://i39.tinypic.com/4l3ba.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/j5xe7t.jpg
As long as the plant is healthy it will fill in the bare spots but could take 3-4 years so be patient... fertilizing may cause the plant to grow larger and taller but to neglect repairing its bare spots... oftentimes with plants less is more... plants tend to take the path of least resistance, by fertilizing you remove its need to create more foliage at it's damaged areas. If you look at my arborvitae by my A/C you'll notice how the base is narrow, that's because I made the mistake of planting annuals there over three years. Now that I stopped planting the annuals the base has filled in and broadened nicely. And that arborvitae is a bit to close to my house, it only receives afternoon sun and since my house has a large overhang it doesn't really get sufficient benefit from rainfall. But now two years later it has caught up with the one in front, and because the one at the A/C is much less exposed to wind, the one in front is planted at the very corner of the house so it gets blasted by wind from all directions, so it's always losing some of the topmost tips of its foliage to windburn. If your plant is growing well I wouldn't fertilize... if it ain't broke don't fix it... more often than not fertilizing destroys perfectly happy plants, same way folks overfeed aquarium fish... and themselves.
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Thanks for the great info, brooklyn. I must change my ways. I'm guilty of being heavy handed with fert. It just feels so good to do it!
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On Wed, 12 May 2010 10:41:03 -0700 (PDT), starrysmile

Ah, me too! Are we talking about the same thing? ;)
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