Maintain Your Arborvitae Shrubs In The Gardens
Arborvitae shrubs come in sizes ranging from dwarf to giant. All offer gorgeous needles in delicate snowflake patterns. Once planted, arborvitae are low-maintenance shrubs but do require some care to stay healthy. Here are several ways to maintain your arborvitae. During the first five years of growth, your arborvitae will benefit from an annual feeding. In the late spring or early fall provide your arborvitae with a fertilizer that contains twice as much nitrogen as phosphorus. For example, the numbers on the label will read 16-8-8 or 20-10-5. Compost is also an excellent organic food for your shrubs. Give the plants one-third pound of food for every foot of height. So, a 6-foot tall plant will need 2 pounds of fertilizer or of compost. Use a trowel to work the food into the soil around the plant. Avoid letting the food come in direct contact with the trunk or roots. After five years, your arborvitae shrubs does not need to be fed unless you want to encourage it to grow fuller or taller.
During the first year of growth, your arborvitae shrubs will need enough water to keep the soil moist but not wet. After this, you only need to water during very dry periods. When the weather is dry, provide enough water once a week to thoroughly soak the soil around the plant but not enough to leave standing water. To help retain soil moisture, place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch such as bark dust or shredded leaves around the shrubs. To reduce rot, avoid letting the mulch come in contact with the trunk of the arborvitae.
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