Hello Spring!

With Summer right around the corner, it feels as though we almost skipped over Spring completely. If you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast, you know this late Spring isn’t a set back for keeping your yard beautiful with all your favourite flora and fauna. For those of us who haven’t yet mastered our ‘green thumb’, we asked the experts at Dutch Growers Home & Garden to share some tips and tricks:

1. What are the first pieces of advice you share with customers when they are making their plant selections?

  • Location, location, location. Knowing where you intend to plant will dictate whether you are looking for sun or shade plants.
    • Sun: plants that will be in direct sunlight from 12 noon for the rest of the day.
    • Shade: plants that can handle a little sun in the morning, but will receive no direct sunlight.
  • Decide what colours you want.
  • Thriller, filler and spiller. For potted plants, thrillers are the centre-piece of the pot. Fillers surround the thrillers for a full look and spillers trail over the edges of the pot. For bedded plants, thrillers are your taller plants, typically placed in the back, with fillers followed by spillers layered in front.

2. What is the difference between an annual and a perennial?

  • Annual plants need to be replanted each year as they thrive in a frost-free environment.
  • Perennials will die when the weather gets cold, but will grow back year after year.

3. What are some tips for planting indoors and transferring outdoors?

  • Sun plants need LOTS of light.
  • When the weather starts to get warmer, start introducing the plants to the outdoor elements by putting them outside for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the length of time. This process is called ‘hardening out’. Generally speaking, this process should be followed for approximately one week before leaving the plants outside permanently. If the temperature is still dropping below 0 at night, be sure to bring your plants inside.
  • Don’t keep your outdoor plants inside too long, the longer they can be outside full-time the better they will do.
  • To aid in your plants survival, Dutch Growers offers a product called Myke. Useful for any type of plant, Myke is a mycorrhizae powder that allows plants to take in more nutrients.

4. When is the best time to start planting outside?

  • Annuals are typically planted after May long weekend.
  • Certain flowers including Pansies and Cyclamen don’t mind the cold and can survive if the temperature goes a few degrees below 0, but it is still important to go through the hardening-off process if you have started them inside.
    Cyclamen Cyclamen

5. Which plants and flowers are trending right now?

  • Citrus Trees, the most popular being the Cocktail Tree which produces Key Limes and Meyer Lemons on the same tree.
    Citrus Tree Citrus Tree
  • Petunias, specifically Night Sky, Pink Sky and Moonstruck. Night Sky is a purple flower with white speckles, Pink Sky (as its name suggests) is the pink version of Night Sky and Moonstruck starts off black and slowly begins to turn yellow at the centre as the plant matures.
    Night Sky, Pink Sky and Moonstruck Petunias Night Sky, Pink Sky and Moonstruck Petunias
  • Green Twist Trailing Bamboo. This plant is ideal for outdoors, but many people purchase it for inside their homes.
    Green Twist Trailing Bamboo Green Twist Trailing Bamboo
  • Fiddle Leaf Fig trees

6. Are there plants that not only look and smell nice, but have other uses?

  • Many plants act as a natural mosquito repellent. A few more commonly known types include Citronella Geraniums, Catnip, Marigolds and Mint.
    Citronella Geraniums Citronella Geraniums
  • Open-face pollinating plants such as Daisies, Osteospermum and Snap Dragons attract butterflies, acting as a natural pest control and pollinating your flowers.
    Daisies and Snap Dragons Daisies and Snap Dragons

For more information on how to achieve your outdoor paradise, visit a Garden Centre, Home & Garden Decor shop or Florist near you for expert advice!