Keith: [00:00:00] Hey, it's Keith Ramsey with the garden supply company. I wanted to talk to everybody about the seasonal look of plants and the misconception that plants are gonna look the same all the time. I think when people look at a magazine, they see a hydrangea for some reason or another, and they think that hydrangea is gonna look.
The picture year-round and then they get the hydrangea planted, they come out and they look at it and they realize it doesn't have blooms this time of year and they plant it and they wait for it to go into bloom. And it goes into bloom and it's an absolute, amazing show of color, especially the second, third, fourth year and every year thereafter.
But then we get into our summer heat and Everybody starts worrying that, their plants and dying and but [00:01:00] I get the feeling that everybody thinks that plants are supposed to, they're like, it's like it's plastic.
And like they're supposed to look perfect all the time. And there's a certain amount of acceptable spots on the leaves and brown tips. And by the time we get to July and August, that people are flooding the garden center and they want a solution, and the brown spots, they're, some of them are or water spots where the leaves have been burned.
Some of them, are light fungus issues. Brown tips that are just, it's been too wet or too dry. And you can't control the, you can't control the rain or the drought scenario we're in.
Joe: And if you miss it a couple of episodes back yet, Steven on, and he was talking about how you guys recommend people bring in clippings or pictures and you can help diagnose absolutely
Keith: and we want to do that. What I wanted to talk about today was just, not, you want to worry about a plant if you really think it's in decline, if it's losing stems or if it's, and there's always things you can do to improve the plant, but somebody will come in with hydrangea and it's got brown [00:02:00] tips and it's got black spots on it and the blooms are drying up and is it okay?
And it's perfectly okay. It's just what you're supposed to see. By late August or early September, October. I'm totally disappointed in the plant, and it's, there are four seasons for every plant, and when we have in North Carolina, we have four perfect seasons. The spring that plant's going to be coming off of winter sticks, and you're going to see these buds open up and they're beautiful green leaves which.
Produce beautiful, blue, pink, puffy flowers, most of the summer. And then as this flower starts to spend and we run into the hotter part of the summer, the leaves start to kinda crumble and they're not looking at their perfect stage. And that's when people come in and they're in a panic But I've felt like people needed to take a step back and think about what a plant is supposed to look like.
And, early on I had a customer come in and, we'd sold them a red maple and a. [00:03:00] Young couple, and this is 20 years ago, but they, they said, we bought this red maple from you and it's done great all summer and it was beautiful, dark green. And now all of a sudden it's turning red and it's, it's an educational process.
And so you have to say the red maple part is that it turns red in the fall, so just educating people that, plants are going to change through the season and kind of, but and not, the red maple part that's the peak of the maple.
That's as good as it gets, the next question would be all the leaves are falling off of it. And it's not a, it's a deciduous tree, it's not evergreen. But just to lower your expectation. Of what a plant can do for you? All in the fall.
All year long, in the wintertime, some of the most like a high drank back to the hydrangea is an amazing plant, but it sticks in the winter time, there's nothing but sticks, so kinda know that's coming and plan for it, so you put some evergreen plants in front of that and then put those behind. So when these sticks are coming up from behind the evergreen plant, all plants are different hydrangeas bloom off of old wood. [00:04:00] So you even them up and you take that, it's going to be the buds that come off of the old wood that is going to create the bloom. So if you cut your hydrangeas to the ground, you're not going to have blooms the following year.
It really depends on the plant and that's where coming in and getting advice, make sense. And when people come in, you want to. If it's a hydrangea and it's got spots all over it, if it's got a spot here or there's really nothing to do, the leaves are going to fall off and you can clean the leaves up and that'll rectify the situation for next year.
If it's out of control then maybe it adds a little bit of a fungicide something like triple action. That's going to it's natural and it doesn't affect the bees. But the biggest thing is, it's rectified the insect or disease problem and then fertilize at the appropriate times, and fall is a great time to fertilize.
A lot of people, do most of their gardening in the spring, it's just kinda natural. Everybody wants to be out there doing it. But if you do fall fertilization, you're fixing that plant for next year. Basically, you're giving it the food and the nutrients and everything.
It needs to really be as good as it's going to be next year. And that's, that was [00:05:00] the next piece of this scenario. People want a solution to their problems. They've got black spots on their plant and you sell them triple action. And triple action is going to do a nice job of not allowing the black spots to spread, but it's not going to remove the black spots or the lines in your eyes, it's not going to make them go.
So it's people come back in a month later and they're like, it's not getting any better. And then you have to say, it's not going to get any better until spring. When the new leaves come out, so it's, that seasonal expectation of what you can do and what you can't do.
And when something's got when the leaves are eaten up or they're eaten up by an insect or they've got a disease on them and you spray them, you're removing that disease and you're slowing down the damage that's done on the leaves, but you're not going to fix those. And you have to wait for that next season.
Every plant loses foliage at some point during the. So you got to wait for that plant to push out new foliage and fertilize it. And, so it's going to be as [00:06:00] happy and healthy as it can next year. And then be ahead of it next year. If a plant gets in the same insect problem every year, it's planning ahead and making sure that we get that under control azaleas are classic for a late.
The lacewing do all their damage in May and June and 90% of the customers come in and come in wanting to do something in September and October because they've gotten back out in the cool weather and they're looking at it and they're like, oh my God sounds eating up my, and nothing's going to get fixed until the new foliage comes out next year and you're actually applying a systemic and that in the spring, To prevent the lacewing from eating the leaves in the, in the early spring, it's a, you
Joe: want to help people avoid, you don't want to hit that plan out and put a new plant, right?
Exactly. You want more plants, but your money on more plants, but
Keith: that one's going to come back. It's going to come back. It's going to do well. And a lot of times with our, with warranty scenarios, people are like, the plant looks terrible. I want a new one. And, that's the worst thing in the world to do is getting into a cycle of replacing a plant because the customer thinks it [00:07:00] looks terrible.
Joe: Yeah, insects are bold or those situations could be recreated
Keith: exactly the same spot. So you got to treat those. Yep. Yeah. And you've got to plant this hat, it's halfway rooted in. The foliage doesn't look great. It's just patients, patients in setting your expectations. So I just, I thought that was a good educational piece, for customers is, set your expectations, understand the plant cycle and then just don't worry quite as much and enjoy more time in the yard. So the next time.