Plant Care Resource Guide

We here at Colonial Gardens want to make sure that you are more than satisfied with our level of service and support. We appreciate your business and we're excited to help with this how-to guide to nurture beautiful and healthy trees, plants,  & shrubs. In order to allow you to do this, we have created the following sections (Please click on the section to view our useful information):

Note: Some content and images of this Plant Care Resource Guide were adapted from and their "How to Plant a Tree" section.

Plant appearance upon arrival or pickup

We will hand select each plant for your order. Our trained staff will make sure that a healthy specimen is selected. Please know that plant size, appearance, roots, width, and thickness will all be different and unique to the species you ordered. Root development also varies greatly between species. Even plants of the same species can vary. Every plant is unique.

Plants will also look different at different times of the year. Plants early in the spring, might be still coming out of dormancy. Likewise, plants received later in the the fall might be starting to go into dormancy. Signs of dormancy can include drying, curling, or dropping of leaves. This is a normal part of a plant's life cycle, and dormant plants are still alive and viable.

If you have any questions about the health or condition of your plants upon arrival, or pickup, don't hesitate to ask.

When your plants are delivered

If you are having your plants delivered, make sure to review your order upon arrival.

  1. Check you original order, and make sure you received all of the correct items.
  2. Check the plant tags to verify that you received the correct species.
  3. Check your plants to make sure they look healthy, and that they arrived safely. Please notify us immediately if you notice any damage, or if there are any questions of the plant's health.
  4. Plant immediately.

Storing and planting your plants

If you cannot plant right away (within 72 hours) you will need to store your plants in a suitable location.

Storage for potted plants

Plants can remain in their container up to a couple of weeks, as long as it is receiving enough water. Replenish the moisture every other day until planted. Do not over water, but do not let roots dry out. Keep the plants out of extreme heat and cold. Store the plant in an area where it will receive partial shade during the day. If the temperatures are going to get in the 30's at night, make sure to put the plants in an area where they are protected, such as a garage.

Planting instructions for potted plants

Carefully remove the pot from the plant. Make an effort to keep as much of the soil medium that envelops the roots intact. Place the soil and root ball a hole at the same depth it grew in the nursery. The soil level of your potted plants should be flush with surface of the ground. Leave a shallow depression around each plant to hold water. Water the plant thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots. Do not let plant roots dry out at any time. Your plants will need regular rain or watering each week to optimize survival and healthy growth.

Keep your plantings free of weeds. Using mulch around each plant is a great way to provide a weed free environment for your plants.

Information regarding plant care

Our goal is to offer you a basic checklist to help determine what is needed to grow and maintain a healthy plant.

Site selection: Choose a plant that will thrive in the location you desire to place it. Plants have different tolerances to soils, shade, heat, and cold.

Watering: All plants require some moisture. Providing water on a weekly basis, either in the form of rain, or supplemental watering, generally will suffice for most plants. Be aware that you can over water. When plants or trees are small, moisture must be made available in the root zone. Small plants and trees have small root zones. Moisture must be placed in an area where the roots can access the moisture.

Fertilization: Plants have a wide range of fertility needs. To obtain healthy vigorous growth, fertility is a must. Providing the proper fertilizer at the proper times can greatly increase plant health and growth. If your plant site is deficient of fertility, you will have to provide it in the form of supplemental fertilizer. Test your soil for deficiencies.

Pruning: Individual plants may be pruned to enhance their attractiveness, or in some cases to reinvigorate flowering or to reduce the opportunity for diseases.