How to care for your Stephanotis

Stephanotis

To keep your Stephanotis happy and to get your blooms to return this summer there are a few simple, easy steps to follow. After your blooms have passed and it warms up outside you can place your Stephanotis outside. Keep your plant in a well lit area,  away from the direct sunlight as this may scald the leaves. In the summer the ideal temperature for Stephanotis is 21ºC.  These  are high humidity loving plants. If you would like to keep your Stephanotis outside during the summer you should place it in a humidity tray. To make a humidity tray find a pot without drainage that is large enough to fit your potted Stephanotis inside with about 2 inches of gravel in the bottom. Place the gravel in the bottom of the no drainage pot and pour water onto the gravel until it is about 1/2 an inch below the surface of the gravel. Then place your Stephanotis in the pot. As the day warms the water will evaporate from the gravel and provide your plant with humidity.(Hint:This humidity tray is something that most plants would love to have if you want to place them outside in the summer). During the summer months you will want to fertilize every 2 weeks with a fertilizer high in potassium (The 3rd number in the fertilizer code). You will want to water regularly throughout the growing season.

During the winter month Stephanotis do not grow much so you will want to water sparingly. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out, but make sure the top inch of the soil is dry before watering. Temperatures between 13-15ºC are ideal for, although they can tolerate temperatures as low as 10ºC.

To repot your Stephanotis you will want to wait until the end of the plants dormancy period, which is in late March-April. You will want to chose a potting soil rich in compost and organic matter. A suitable mix is African Violet soil which is designed for plants that require rich compost and lots of organic matter.

Did you know that Easter Favorites are Perennials?

hydrangeaDid you know that Easter Flower Favorites are Perennials?

We all gather some wonderful flowers around the Easter time of year. Did you know that some of our Easter favorites are also perennials and that you can plant them outside and have them bloom for you year after year.

Easter Lilies are a fantastic flower we all see this time of year. Once lilies are finished flowering, place them in a sunny location in your home and water regularly and add one teaspoon of slow release fertilizer once every 6 weeks. The potted plants can be moved to a sunny location outdoors once the risk of frost has passed.

To plant your Easter Lilies find a well-drained and sunny area your garden. If the soil in this location is not rich, boost the soil with some manure or compost to enhance the soil. You should plant your Easter Lilies with a pre-made planting mix or with a mix of 1 part soil to one part peat moss to 1 part perlite. This planting mix is very important as Easter Lilies require good drainage to achieve the best blooms and growth.

Plant the Easter Lily bulbs 3 inches below the soil surface, and mound an additional 3 inches of loose topsoil on top of the soil surface. When making the hole for the bulbs make sure it is large enough for the bulbs and that their roots can spread out and down, the way they naturally do. Plant the bulbs 12 to 18 inches apart from one another.  Once you have planted the bulbs tamp the soil and ensure there are no air pockets. Water the Easter Lilies immediately after planting, this will help them establish and help you find any air pockets that were missed.

As the original plants die back, trim and cut the shoots and you will see the new growth appear soon. Easter lilies are forced to bloom in the spring by greenhouse management, but naturally will bloom in the summer. So you may find you have some beautiful blooms pop out this summer, but if not, be patient and you will see them next summer, and for years after!

Hydrangeas are a phenomenal flower we all see this time of year. Once hydrangeas are finished flowering, place them in a moderately sunny location in your home and water regularly and add one teaspoon of slow release fertilizer once every 6 weeks.

To plant your potted Easter Hydrangea prepare your garden bed the same as the Easter Lily, except that this plant should be in a moderately sunny location, not full sun. Morning sun, afternoon shade is the best light for this plant. Hydrangeas should be planted in the ground while the evenings are cool and the days are warm. So the earliest in the spring without the risk of frost or early fall without the risk of frost is the best time of year to plant Hydrangeas.

To plant your Hydrangea dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball. Plant your Hydrangeas 3-10 feet apart from one another. Tamp soil to ensure there are no air pockets and water thoroughly.

Happy Easter Gardening!

 

Time To Start Your Seeds!

Seed RackTIME TO START YOUR SEEDS

As summer is slowly approaching we need to start thinking about our gardens. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables that you desire the time is now!!
We have all your needs here at Westland Greenhouses, from warming mats,pots,fertilizers and of course a great variety of seeds!!
                                               GETTING STARTED…
  • Choose your favourite annuals and vegetable seeds
  • Containers–Propagating kits are available here as well as cell packs and peat pots, if re-using your old ones make sure they are washed with soap and have drainage holes, also remember to label your seeds as they all look the same in the beginning stages.
  • Use fresh sterile seed-starting soil mixture,moisten soil about an hour before sowing.
  • Follow directions on seed packet as many have different instructions on how to plant!!
  • Keep in the moisture by covering with plastic dome or place in a clear plastic bag….lightly water before doing so.
  • Water very lightly when needed. At first sight of germination remove plastic covering.
  • Keep in a bright spot or under growing lights.
  • Fertilize your plants when they have two to three full leaves.
  • Take outside and plant away as soon as chance of frost is over.
 Come on in and ask any of our knowledgeable staff for help!!
                                        HAPPY PLANTING

Are you Worried About Salt Damage This Winter?

GypsumThis winter has been long, cold and required a lot of salt to keep walkways and drive-ways free of ice. De-icing salt has negative impacts on plant growth by making the soil water too salty for plants to tolerate, and ends up dehydrating them.

Pelletized Gypsum is a great option to help protect your plants from salty soil.

Pelletized Gypsum can help your lawn and garden in a few key ways:

  • By leaching out the salt
  • By conditioning the soil and increasing rooting depth
  • By providing extra Calcium and improving plant growth so that the “good” outgrows the “bad”

Pelletized Gypsum can be mixed into soil if your beds are open, but it can also be applied on top of the soil and watered in. One 2kg box can cover over 20 x 20 meters or lawn or garden!

Please ask a Garden Centre Associate for more in store information.

Happy Gardening!

 

Health Benefits of Houseplants

bostonHealth Benefits of Houseplants

Tropical plants have numerous benefits for our health.

  • Purifying the air
  • Allergy prevention
  • Reducing fatigue…and many more

Some of the many varieties we carry are:

  • Spider plant
  • Snake plant
  • Peace lily
  • Boston fern

To improve health and reduce fatigue and stress, place one large plant (8″ diameter pot or larger) for every 129 sq feet.  To purify your air use 15 to 18 plants in 6-8″ pots for a 1800 sq foot house.

Make sure you match the right plant to the right growing conditions.

Come in for your new plant to brighten and purify your home.

Please ask a Garden Centre Associate for more in store information.
Happy Gardening!

Hydrangea Pruning

slider6We have had a lot of questions these past few weeks about the proper pruning of hydrangeas.  When to cut back?  How much to cut back?  We hope these tips help!
Different varieties of hydrangea require different pruning techniques.
Blooms on old wood:

Prune after the flowers start to fade in late summer

To determine if your hydrangea blooms on old wood, think about when it flowers. Shrubs with this characteristic generally begin blooming in early summer and peter out by midsummer, though sporadic blooms may appear afterward. These shrubs form next year’s flower buds in late summer or early fall as the days get shorter and tem­peratures cool off. To reduce the risk of removing these buds, prune just as the flowers begin to fade. Often, the earlier you get it done after bloom, the quicker the shrub can recover, producing more and larger blooms next season.  (Big Leaf- Macrophylla- colourfull large pink or blue blooms; Oak Leaf)

Blooms on new wood:

Cut back these shrubs in late winter before new growth begins

Because they need to grow and set buds the same year that they bloom, shrubs that flower on new wood generally start blossoming later than old-growth bloomers, beginning in midsummer and continuing until the first frost. These shrubs are forgiving if pruning is not done at a certain time as long as you avoid pruning when the flower buds are opening.  (Paniculata; Aborescens – Pee Gee & Annabelle)

Pruning can be completed to tidy up/remove old blooms as maintenance for the shrub.  It can also be completed to improve a shrubs vigor by removing oldest canes.  When a hydrangea is getting older and woody it can produce smaller blooms. Removal of oldest canes at the soil line can keep the shrub vigorous and helps producing large and abundant flowers.
If your hydrangea is happy and beautiful, you may not need to prune at all.  We have had many customers that are very happy to report that when they did nothing the shrub produced its best crop of blooms ever!
Happy Gardening!

August in the Garden

SunflowersAUGUST IN THE GARDEN

We are in the middle of summer and the most important job for August is to enjoy your garden space!  Here are a few chores that can be done to keep everything looking its best for this month:
Trees & Shrubs:
  • Mulch the soil around the trees and shrubs to aid in water retention
  • Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape AFTER they have finished flowering.
  • Apply fertilizer until mid-August
  • Keep inspecting for pests
Annuals:
  • Cut back now to encourage reblooming
  • Prune some of your favorite flowers to dry for future arrangements

Perennials:

  • Trim off old dead flowers
  • Stake tall autumn flowering varieties

Roses:

  • Prune hybrid roses in late August to promote the most fall blossoms- remove about 1/3 of vigorous growth.

Lawn:

  • Raise the cutting height of your mower- taller grass cools the roots and helps keep moisture in the soil longer.

Weeds:

  • Keep weeds pulled before they flower and seed
  • Over seed to give an old lawn new life

Ponds:

  • Continue to fertilize flowering pond plants monthly with pond tabs for lush growth and additional blossoms this summer.
  Happy Gardening!

Tidying Up Your Hanging Basket

 TIME TO TIDY UP YOUR HANGING BASKET 
Hanger
All hanging baskets need sprucing up to keep their shape and the beautiful blooms coming.  Here are a few tips to keep your hanger looking fabulous all season:
  • Water– Whether you have a protected area for your hanger or it is out in the elements, it is important to keep watch to how much water your hanger is getting.  Too much will cause the flowers to rot and too little will cause the plant to wither up.
  • Dead Heading– For prolonged display of blooms it is best to perform a weekly dead heading.  While you are dead heading check your plants for unwanted pests like aphids or whiteflies- if you find any, treat with a quick spray of insecticidial soap.
  • Prune– Not all plants will be at peak blooming all season.  Cutting plants back after a flush bloom will tidy them up and prepare for a new crop of blooms.
  • Fertilize– Daily watering and prolonged rain (like we have had the last couple of days!) can leach out fertilizers before they are absorbed into the soil.  Feed your baskets a weekly 15-30-15 fertilizer.
  • Protect– Extreme heat can cause damage to your baskets.  Give them a vacation by moving them into a cool, shaded spot for a couple of days rest.
 Happy Gardening!

The Fight Against Bugs

safersThe Fight Against Bugs 

The bugs are already pestering some of your garden plants-let Westland Greehouses advise you about the types of insecticides available.

This week we highlight Safers Rose and Flower Insecticide.

Product Features:

  • Targets and kills aphids, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, earwigs, lace bugs, leaf hoppers, mealy bugs, mites, plant bugs, scale crawlers, thrips and whiteflies
  • Does not kill beneficial insects
  • Can be used up until the day of harvest
  • OMRI Listed® and compliant for use in organic gardening

Safer® Brand Rose and Flower Insect Killer works as an insecticide. This product utilizes the power of potassium salts of fatty acids (insecticidal soap). The potassium salts weaken the insect’s waxy protective outer shell and causes them to dehydrate and die.The ability to use this product in your home and in your lawn or garden makes it the most economical and convenient solution to pest annoyances available on the market for rose care! This product is OMRI Listed® and compliant for use in organic gardening and does not kill beneficial insects when used as directed.

What it kills?

aphids, beetles, caterpillars, crickets, earwigs, lace bugs, leafhoppers, mealybug control, mites, plant bugs, scale crawlers, thrips, and whiteflies

Where to use it?

Roses, flowers, shade trees, and ornamental plants

Directions for Use:

1. Shake well before use

2. Rose and Flower Insect Killer works best when insects are newly hatched.

3. Apply at first sighting of insects.

4. Thorough coverage of both the tops and bottoms of leaves is important

5. Spray leaves to the point of run off

6. Apply every 5-7 days when insects are present

 

Living with bugs on our plants is always a struggle, having a safe, alternative choice to insect control is reassuring.

   Happy Gardening!

Amending Gardens with Manure

SoilAmending Gardens With Cow / Sheep Manure 

 Now is the time to add manure to your garden beds.  Adding manure to your soil improves the soil quality by enriching the basic elements NPK in the soil.  Manure also contains large amounts of humus thus providing better tilth to clay soils, supplying food for soil flora and fauna, will aid in preserving moisture during dry spells and ensures good drainage during wet times.  Humus is also a storage for nitrogen in the soil- a bonus for our plants!
How Much Do I Need?
For every 100sq/ft of garden you have you will need 1- 33lb bag of composted manure.
How Do I Apply?
Manure can be added to the garden before planting- the top 2″ of soil can be tilled.  It can also be added to existing perennial beds to enrich the soil around the plants and shrubs.  You can also use it as a “Side-dressing” for vegetable rows.
Remember that manure needs to be added to enrich beds each year- the nutrients from previously added manure will eventually leach out- therefore it is important to amend your beds each year.   Happy Gardening!