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Date: 30 Mar 2016, Entry id: 1459334702

Spring time fun: fertilizing and pruning

Q: When is a proper time to start fertilizing my garden in Spring? Also, when can I cut back cold damaged branches? Should I wait until end of April?

A: As a rule of thumb, fertilizer can be applied during period of active growth, when a plant needs additional nutrients. With indoor plants, you can fertilize pretty much year round as long as the plant continues growing and not dormant. For in-ground tropical plants, start fertilizing when new growth appears. In subtropical areas, with cooler winter months, most tropical plants slow down their metabolism when temperature drops below 65F. Many of them become dormant, and may even lose leaves (especially deciduous plants like Annona, or Peaches/Plums). In spring, tropical plants wake up as soon as outside temperature stays above 65F for at least one week (including night time). Once you see new growth, this is a signal for you to start fertilizing.

As far as trimming dead branches - wait until you see new leaves completely opened up. This way you won't cut too much, as some parts of the plant may take longer to re-leaf than others.

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