The Q&A Archives: Plant care

Question: I have following kinds of plants/trees in our backyard. The Roseville is in zone 9.

Roses, Climbing roses, landscape plants, Fruit trees (5 gallons plants planted two years back), Evergreen trees like African Sumac, Queen palms (15 gallon plants planted one year back), Japanese Maple, Sago palm.

My questions are:
1. What is the best time to fertilize and what kind of fertilizer for various kinds of plants/trees.
2. When should the fruit trees and evergreen trees need to be pruned if at they should be pruned? The fruit trees are: Pomegranate, plum, apple, apricot, and persimmon.
3. Two orange plants are not growing very well. Both are planted for one and half years. One of them gave some fruits but both are about 2.5 ft high only.
4. Does egg plant die in the winter? It is already cold about 35F but I do not see any sign of dying.

I appreciate your help.
Suman Kothari

Answer: Fertilizer is usually applied in spring, as your plants begin to grow - fertilizing in fall or winter when your plants are resting can make them grow, and the new growth will be subject to frost damage. So, take your cue from your plants; when they begin to grow in the spring, apply fertilizer. There are many kinds of fertilizers on the market. A general purpose 10-10-10 can be used, or you can purchase the specially formulated citrus food and evergreen food which contains micronutrients tailor made for these types of plants. Whichever you use, be sure to apply in amounts and with the frequency recommended on the package label.

Both fruit trees and evergreens can be pruned in the spring. It isn't necessary to prune either, but you can if you want to remove an errant branch or control the size.

Eggplant is an annual plant and will die off this winter. Or, if you're finished harvesting the fruits, you can simply pull the plants up out of the ground.

Best wishes with your garden!

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