New Plant Care

Thank you for choosing East Coast Green for your new planting project. Please take time to read the information provided to you for care of your new plants. Not following the New Plant Watering Guide will void your plant warranty with East Coast Green.

Upon completion of your planting project, proper watering becomes the most important aspect of plant survival. Most plants will acclimate quickly to their new home while others may suffer “transplant shock”. During this time of shock, plants may wilt and appear to be dying. Some plants may defoliate, this is not uncommon during this time of stress. Be patient and continue to care for your plants, they will come back. Your new plantings may take up to a year to become established to their new surroundings. This first year is critical for your new plants to survive and thrive. That is why East Coast Green provides our customers with a one year warrantee. Use the following as a guide to get you started in caring for your new plants. If you feel as though you cannot fit this into your busy schedule talk to us about our plant watering program.

The First Month

During the first month after installation, it is most critical to monitor your plants water needs. Please note that the following varies with the season, weather and plant choices. Water perennials every 2 days, sometimes everyday during the summer months. Container shrubs should be watered every 2 to 4 days. Balled and burlapped shrubs and trees will need watered every 3 to 5 days. There are many factors to consider in watering, but the best way to find out whether to water or not is to dig into the mulch in several places and feel the moisture level of the soil. If you cannot take a handful of soil and form it into a ball, your soil is dry. Deep watering by hand is the best way to ensure that water is reaching all of the roots. Do not use lawn sprinklers to water your new plants during the first month. The best time for watering is early morning, when humidity is high and moisture loss is low. Avoid afternoon watering due to evaporation and scalding of foliage. Water droplets on leaves will act as small magnifying glasses and burn sensitive leaves. Evening water can lead to fungal diseases, it is best not to water at this time.

After the First Month

Most new plantings do not survive due to inadequate or improper watering. Many rains do not provide adequate water for new plants. This is most typical during the summer when afternoon thunderstorms are more common. These quick rains do not penetrate the soil, so be sure to check the soil moisture after these rains. At this time further deep watering at extended time intervals is more beneficial than light watering at frequent intervals. It is also beneficial to water the soil area in a greater diameter around each plant to encourage the roots to grow into the undisturbed soil. Some shallow-rooted plants would be an exception to this and need additional watering.

Deep watering is most beneficial to your new plants. After the first month it is acceptable but not recommended to use a sprinkler to water you plants.

Trees and large shrubs will need 5 to 10 gallons per inch of diameter. Watering should be considered during the first two years, especially during dry summer months and spring growth time.

Over watering can be as much of a problem as under watering. It is important to take the time to do a soil moisture test. The leaves of plants that are in wet soil tend to become yellow from the bottom up, and the soil develops a septic smell. Some broadleaf evergreens curl their leaves which is a sign that the roots are beginning to rot, at the same time they may do the same due to under watering. At this time conduct a deep soil moisture test by digging a hole 12-15” outside of the plants root zone and check for moisture or standing water.