First we’d like to thank you for getting your plants from us. We’ve enjoyed the time we’ve spent nurturing them and know you’re excited about helping them make a go at their new life in your garden. To help you give them the best possible start, we’d like to answers some questions you may have and share some pointers on getting success.
UNPACKING THE BOX
MY PLANTS LOOK ROUGH, SHOULD I BE CONCERNED? Plants often look a little rough after being in transit; this is unavoidable, and understandable. Remember your plants have been bouncing around in a dark, often hot box for several days. Lack of sunlight and fresh air will cause a reaction. Plants that are shipped with their leaves on will often wilt or turn yellow from lack of sun, and the heat of a closed box. Do not freak out. The plant usually recovers with good care within a week. Follow the directions on watering and setting in the shade.
MY PLANT HAS NO LEAVES!!! Many of the plants we send are dormant during the winter; these will of course come with no leaves on them. We also remove leaves on some plants while packing if we are concerned the plant will stress during transit. Please trust us that this is a good move. Through the years of shipping we have learned what it takes to get your trees to you in the best possible condition.
BROKEN PLANTS. We have been accused of shipping plants in boxes built like Fort Knox. We tend to go overboard with extra support stakes in the boxes; we know how badly they are thrown around in transit. Despite this careful packing, sometimes they are damaged in transit. If you have received a damaged box STOP AND TAKE PICTURES. Take a picture of the damaged box. Open the box. If you have a few broken limbs, this is not anything to be concerned about, trim them off, the plant will re-grow them. If the main trunk is broken, we will need you to contact us immediately. We will need good pictures of the plants in the box showing how the damage occurred. It is best to take two pictures of plants inside the box after you open it. Then take the plants out of the box and take two pictures of the plants showing the damage. This will help us determine how the damage occurred, and to properly file a claim with the shipper. Please take note without good pictures we cannot reimburse you for your plants. Once we file the claim with the shipper we will send you new plants as soon as possible.
CARE OF THE PLANTS
-Depending on the time of the year the plants are either shipped in the containers they have been growing in or as a semi bare root ball.
–PLANTS SHIPPED IN THE POTS THEY ARE GROWN IN – If you have received a plant growing in a plastic pot, remove the shipping bag immediately
and water the plant. We water the plants before we ship them, but they are often in transit for several days. They will need some water as soon as possible. If they are a bush type plant they may have several of their branches tied to the support stake. Remove the tie tape so their branches will hang free.
-Your plants have been in the dark while in transit, direct sunlight can damage them. Put the plants in a shady area for a couple of day to help them adjust. After this period move all plants except paw paws to full sun. Paw paws are a shade lover, leave them in the shade.
–How long can I leave them in the pots before planting? Most plants shipped in pots will be happy for a few weeks to a few months in the pots they were shipped in. If you cannot plant them within this time period think about moving them to a larger pot. Remember that container plants need water frequently. Here at the nursery they are watered daily. When watering, apply water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Plants growing in pots are always under stress, plant as soon as you are able.
WHEN TO PLANT YOUR FRUIT TREES?
Remember that your plants have been grown and shipped from Florida. We ship plants from October through May. Often our plants will be out of sync with your climate. Our winters are warm and sometimes plants, which are considered cold hardy (see list below), when shipped in late winter and spring are already leafing with new growth. If you are gardening in a colder climate, zone 7a and colder, hold any plants that have new growth on them until temperatures are above freezing in your area. The plants are fine stored in a cool garage that remains above freezing and placed next to sunny window so they can get some light.
Here’s the list: Apple, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, pecans, walnuts, chestnut, Japanese raisin trees, jujube, melonberry, mayhaw, paw paw, persimmon, quince, ginkgo, blackberry, blueberry, elderberry, goji, goumi, grape, and raspberry.
Tender plants like figs, banana, loquat, mulberry, olives, pomegranate, kiwi, and sherbet berry cannot take the cold winters of areas above zone 9 while young. Plant these fruit trees in the spring. If you have received a plant during the fall or winter, leave in the container it was sent in and over winter in a warm sunny place that stays above freezing.
Far North Gardeners Zone 7b and colder. Winters in your area tend to be extreme. Never plant a tree in the fall or winter. Sever cold weather in these zones often causes death to a new set plant. This will void our plant guarantee. Often fruit trees that are considered hardy are not able to withstand the first winters. Persimmon, peaches, nectarines and mayhaw are best planted in the spring. Given a summer of root growth they will be able to withstand the winter better. It is also advisable to protect the trees for the first couple of winters until they are able to develop thicker bark. For an in-depth read on winter protection of trees in northern climates follow this link to the University of Minnesota guide on winter protection of young plants http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/
PLANTING AND AFTER CARE
We want you to be successful with your new plants. We have included in the shipping box a set of detailed planting and growing instruction on each type of plant you’ve received. Please read these carefully, they will answer most of your questions. If you lose them or need a new copy of them they are all on our website. Follow this link to print out more http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/JFE/grow-guides/
WE’RE HERE TO HELP. It is our utmost wish that you be successful with your new plants. We often feel we’re not only growing plants but also growing new gardeners. If you’re having trouble with a plant you got from us, call or email us before the problem leads to a decline in the plant. Most problems have simple answers and caught early can save them plant.
We hope your plants will grow well, be happy and give you years of fruit, flowers and joy in your life.