Resolve to put the right plant in the right place


I have a suggested New Year’s resolution for gardeners, landscapers, and anyone else who plants trees, shrubs and any other plants: I resolve to plant the right plant in the right place!

So many plant problems can be avoided by following this resolution.

While shopping before the holidays, I went to a store in a new commercial development. The parking lot, trees, shrubs — all were new.

The problem was that the landscape design called for Japanese maples to be planted in two of the parking-lot tree islands.

Japanese maples are not and I repeat, not parking-lot trees — nor are they tough enough to serve as a street tree.

Japanese maples do best in a slightly protected landscape setting with moist, well-drained soil.

If you have ever had the chance to see one of these tree islands being prepared during construction, you know that the soil and planting area alone aren’t that great. In addition, the area is surrounded by blacktop that gets pretty hot during the summer.

The bottom line is that Japanese maples will not thrive in this location and will likely struggle and look pretty awful by mid-summer. I’ll keep you posted.

In real estate, it’s all about location and the same thing applies to plants. Put a plant in a perfect site and you’ll get great performance in the long run.

Another plant that is typically misused in the Miami Valley is the rhododendron. These are really hard to pass up in the spring when they are in full bloom. The flowers are spectacular.

However, enjoy it while it’s blooming the first year, because it doesn’t quite look the same in our landscapes once planted.

Rhododendrons prefer an acidic soil or a soil pH of around 5.5. Our soil pH is typically 7.4 or around there. This is not optimal for these plants to grow.

Gardeners may try to change the soil pH by adding soil sulfur, but it won’t last because of the parent soil material we have around here — limestone. Our soil pH is extremely difficult to change.

You might be able to success with rhododendrons in raised beds or in a container where you have more control over the pH, but this requires a lot more work.

When you purchase a plant or when you are planning your landscape, read about a plant to learn where it will grow best and then try to find that location in your landscape.

Or, if you have a particular problem in your landscape — a wet area, for instance — look for plants that tolerate wet or damp soils.

And remember that plants grow if they are happy. Be sure to learn the mature size of the plant and place it in your landscape where you won’t have to prune to keep it small or in specific area.

It’s a lot easier for everyone when a plant is happy in its home. Remember, right plant right place!

ouse



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Home Garden

Authors’ Fair to pen a new chapter in Springfield this weekend
Authors’ Fair to pen a new chapter in Springfield this weekend

A new chapter will be written for local authors this weekend, thanks to the Clark County Public Library . The library’s main branch will revive its Springfield Writes Authors’ Fair with 20 writers in a broad range of genres converging in the library’s rotunda from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day will begin with guest speaker Vick Mickunas...
The event this weekend every aspiring writer and book lover in Dayton should know about
The event this weekend every aspiring writer and book lover in Dayton should know about

Book lovers, the Great Hall is calling you.  More than 80 authors are expected to participate and sign books at the Dayton Book Expo this weekend.  Coleman — the author and professional speaker behind the PenOfTheWriter.com — and her partners will present the  ninth annual book expo from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday...
Ohio among states battling sudden rise in Hepatitis A cases
Ohio among states battling sudden rise in Hepatitis A cases

The number of Hepatitis A cases in Ohio and neighboring states has spiked since January, the Ohio Department of Health is reporting. The are currently 31 cases in the state, the highest since 2015, the Greene County Public Health said in a release Tuesday. In comparison, there were four cases during the same period in 2017, two in 2016 and five...
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know
What is Earth Day? 5 things to know

Sunday is Earth Day 2018, and more than one billion people across the globe are expected to celebrate with environmentally friendly events. But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know: >> Read more trending news  The first Earth Day celebration took place 48 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought...
Did you want extra tarantula on that hamburger?

When it comes to food, there aren’t a lot of things I won’t try. But I draw the line at eating any species I ever had as pets. There are some exceptions. Although as a child I briefly had a pair of rabbits given to me on Easter, I eventually bent the rule and sampled jugged hare on a trip to England. And I will order duck a l’orange...
More Stories