Plant Care Information

All plants have unique care requirements, and a one size fits all care plan will not ensure the survival of all our plants and topiaries. A good plant parent dedicates time to researching your specific plant variety’s needs so that proper care can be given to ensure that your plant/topiary not only survives but thrives. We plan to continue to expand the cultural information on our website so check back often for more variety specific information and care instructions.

Below are our basic plant/topiary care instructions.

Again, please note that the below information encompasses most of our plants and topiaries; but not all. If you are not finding the information you need below and require more specific information, please reach out to our grower Ian. He can be reached by e-mail at grower@oldworldgardens.com.

Light

The light level for your plant/topiary is unique to each variety of plant and care should be given to ensure your plant/topiary is receiving adequate light per its individual needs; especially when housed indoors. One thing to note is that it is important to rotate your plant/topiary every few days or at least once a week when kept indoors. This ensures that all sides of the plant/topiary are receiving sunlight. Without rotation, your topiary shape may suffer as the side facing away from the light source may begin to drop leaves or become leggy compared to the side that is receiving more adequate light.

Temperature

Most of our plants/topiaries do best in temperatures between 55-75°F. Our plants/topiaries can be maintained at higher temperatures outdoors but require more watering, care, and attention. Our plants/topiaries should be moved indoors when temperatures are expected to fall below 50 degrees.

Water

For best results, place your plant/topiary in a sink and water thoroughly. Allow your plant to drain and move it back to its growing location. You never want your plant/topiary to sit in a saucer of water, as this can cause root disease. If maintained indoors, we recommend that you allow the top inch of soil to dry in between waterings. However, be sure to water within 24 hours once the soil feels dry to the touch. Allowing your plant/topiary to go too long without adequate moisture is a sure way to kill your plant/topiary. We also recommend weekly misting of your plants/topiaries to help increase the relative humidity around the plant. This is especially important during the winter or months when you are running your home’s heater. Although your plant/topiary can benefit from misting be sure to not over-mist. If the leaves of your plant don’t dry within 15 minutes of misting, you are misting too heavily which can lead to diseases like powdery mildew.

If your plant/topiary is kept outdoors keep an eye on its moisture level and ensure a heavy soaking each time you water. Plants kept outdoors should be watered more often and should never fully dry out.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing our topiaries is really important as the nutrition available from the compost is quickly depleted in small pots. We encourage you to utilize a balanced water-soluble fertilizer such as a 10 nitrogen-10 phospate-10 potassium formula diluted at a rate of ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water. We recommend that our topiaries are fertilized every 3-4 weeks. If you are repotting your topiary, we suggest that you incorporate something like bone meal into your soil as this encourages healthy growth and strong root systems. We recommend that you stay away from slow-release granular fertilizer because direct contact with the roots of these plants can cause more harm than good.

Pruning

Pruning can be done at any time to help maintain the shape of your plant/topiary. In fact, pruning is required to not only maintain the desired shape but also promotes healthy growth and ensures that all parts of your topiary can receive sunlight. However, care should be taken to ensure that your scissors or pruning shears are sharp as utilizing dull blades can cause damage to your plant/topiary and could make your plant/topiary more susceptible to disease. We usually recommend that you prune your plant/topiary every 2-3 months by removing half to three-quarters of the new growth from its branches.

In the winter months a heavier pruning is required to ensure the inner leaves and branches of your plant/topiary can receive adequate amounts of light. If you live in a northern climate, we recommend a heavy pruning to be performed in the fall to prepare your plant/topiary for winter. You can then allow your plant/topiary to grow out until the next spring before pruning is necessary again to reestablish/maintain your plants/topiary’s desired shape. If you live in a southern climate where more light is available year-round, you can usually maintain a pruning schedule of every 2-3 months year-round.

Repotting

It’s time to repot your topiary when it begins to outgrow its container. This can be noted by observing circling roots, more roots than media, and when your plant has difficulty staying upright due to its size. When repotting, we recommend that you utilize a pot/container no more than 2” larger than the pot/container it is currently in. Only utilize pots/containers with holes that allow for good drainage.

Disease and Insects

When changes in leaf color, texture, or shape are observed, special care should be taken to identify the problem. Changes in leaf color or texture can signal an insect problem. Leaves may become spotted, speckled, or yellowed when insects are present. Leaves might also become distorted or misshapen, often looking cupped or pinched. You may spot webbing draped along leaf undersides or where leaves attach to stems. We recommend that you inspect your plant/topiary weekly for disease and insects by looking on both sides of your plant/topiary’s leaves. If insects are not found, we recommend that you remove your plant/topiary from its pot/container to inspect its roots. Healthy roots will be either white or tan/brown in color, while diseased roots will be black and mushy. If insects or disease is found, immediate treatment is necessary to increase the chances of survival for your plant/topiary.