How to Care for Established Shrubs

Shrubs are fairly easy to care for, at least after they have become established in a year or two. It is important to add an annual application of mulch around your shrubs as this seems to wear away as time goes by. Bark chips, and any type of garden compost is great for this purpose. Mulching not only keeps in moisture, but will keep unwanted weeds to a minimum. Some plants,such as acid loving azaleas, prefer pine needles or leaf mold.

Shrubs that need to be cut back hard each year to stimulate new growth will benefit from a little fertilizer each season. A good balanced fertilizer will do. You could also use other products such as bonemeal, or fish or blood meal. Only a small amount should be given to each shrub. There are many fertilizers on the market that are good for many different types of plants, although they may be advertised for only one or more.

A Well Established Shrub

In the spring, you may want to do any pruning that you think is necessary along with the mulching and fertilizing as mentioned before. Other seasons will not require you to do anything special for your shrubs, unless you live in a colder climate where your plants might need extra winter protection. If you notice any type of diseases on any of your plants, it is better to remove them than to try to salvage them. Remember, you want your yard and garden to look its best.

Deciduous shrubs that have become overgrown can best be dealt with after flowering has occurred. Evergreen shrubs should be worked on in the spring time. Be careful when you are pruning your shrub. Try not to go to extremes and prune it back too much as it might not recover from severe pruning. You might want to just remove some of the dead or damaged stems and wait to another time to prune.

If you need to move your shrub to another place, it is perfectly okay to move them. I would recommend moving them. Evergreens can be moved in the spring and deciduous shrubs any time after the dormant season.

Other Helpful Hints

Most shrubs will do better the older it gets, but some look their best early on in their life. In this case, it is better to replace them once they lose their neatness or as their flowering potential goes down. You might want to replace some of the short-live shrubs as your garden matures and they are not as vibrant as they used to be.

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