Index > Garden Blog

Date: 26 Oct 2018, Entry id: 1540558138-2

Improving cold hardiness before winter: fertilizer and micro-elements

Q: I live in New Jersey and it is getting cool here, with temperatures in the upper 40s, but my tropical plant collection is in a heated sunroom (still around 70s). Should I continue fertilizing my plants? And if yes, my second question about deciduous Sugar Apple tree. Should I continue fertilizing it until it drops leaves?

A: First of all, even though you live outside tropical climate, your plants enjoy warm temperatures year round, and can be treated like if they were in a Southern garden.
Plant nutrients, both macro-elements (regular fertilizer) and micro-elements (such as iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, and other elements) play an important role not only in overall plant health but also in plant hardiness.
The rule of thumb is, even in warm climates we cut off any fertilizer by the end of October. You still have time for the last treatment this year (next will be in March, or when your plants start showing new growth). You may apply just a bit of slow-release granulated fertilizer, or water-soluble by foliar spray, diluted 1/2 of label strength, to all evergreen species in your collection.
The most important application before winter is micro-elements and other plant boosters that will help you plant collection survive winter months with a shorter daylight and cooler temperatures. Now it is a perfect time to make these simple steps:

1) Miscro-element applications, any one of: Superfood, Iron Supplement, Greenleaf.
2) Sunshine-T application: for improving cold hardiness, plus immune system resistance to insects and deceases.
3) Sunshine-Honey application for all fruit trees to encourage bigger and sweeter fruit next year.

Regarding your second question. Deciduous tropical plants like Annonas, Adeniums, Plumerias, etc - do not need regular fertilizer at this time, however, go ahead and apply microelements Superfood complex, as well as Sunshine-Honey, while leaves are still green. These two will give a kick-start to provide better flowering in spring, and production of sweeter fruit later.

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