Plant Care Instructions

ALERT!!! Watering in the first four weeks after planting is more critical than any other plant care the rest of the year.


  • Rule of Thumb: Water plants once every 2 days, for the first two weeks, once every three days for the next two weeks, and once a week after that.
  • The ideal time to water is when plants begin to wilt and turn a gray, dull color. These signs can replace the Rule of Thumb above. You will notice that some plants in your landscape are more “thirsty” than others (ex. Hydrangeas, Ligularias, Blackeyed Susans); use the thirst of these plants as your watering standard.
  • Water plants on the root zone rather than on the foliage; in other words, hold watering wand below the leaves
  • Use low water pressure. Allow a trickle 12” in diameter, approximately as big as your pinky finger
    • Perennials: 10-15 seconds
    • shrubs: 1-3 minutes
    • trees: 5-15 minutes
      • with all plants, do not water so much that it begins to pool and run off.

NOTE: The best time to water is in the morning. Avoid getting moisture on leaves to prevent fungi growth during the night or scorched leaves during the day.

  • Transplanted plants are like cut flowers; they should be watered everyday for the first week, and then follow normal care instructions after that.

NOTE: Occasionally, after planting or transplanting, a tree will defoliate (lose its leaves). Do not give up on it. Call us and keep watering it as if it were still alive. Most likely, it’s just going through transplant shock and will recover and develop new leaves.


With each of your plants, Paragon has already placed a slow-release fertilizer that will help your plants for the next 18 months. However,

  • Perennials will benefit from a once-a-year fertilization, which we typically do when we re-mulch.
  • Fort Wayne soil is not acidic enough for Rhododendrons, Boxwoods, Hollys, and Azaleas, so soil needs to be acidified regularly throughout the season. We accomplish this with a fertilizer called Hollytone. (Another popular brand is Miracid, a Miracle-Gro product, which can be bought from your local garden center).
    • If any of these four plants get chlorosis (a yellowing of the leaves), they need to be fertilized with chelated iron

NOTE: If a problem persists in a plant, call us.


Your plants won’t need to be pruned for a while, but don’t let this lull you into inaction; pruning is most essential for maintaining your landscape in the long run.

In ALL Perennials, Trees, and Shrubs:

  • Prune all dead or diseased branches

For Trees and Shrubs specifically:

  • Remove branches that are crossing each other or growing into each other
  • Select structure branches that you want to keep. This maintains the form you desire.
  • Clean up with tip pruning, but do NOT prune all tips to the same length
  • Lift the canopy by choosing the branch height you want. Pay attention to balance.

Fall Maintenance:

  • Allow the foliage to ripen, then renewal-prune (prune to the ground) all perennials, with the exception of the Super Seven:
    • Euonymus
    • Waldsteinia (Barren Strawberry)
    • Dianthus
    • English Ivy
    • Myrtle
    • Creeping Phlox
    • Ajuga
  • Some people will leave the stalks of Hydrangeas, Black-Eyed Susans, Ornamental grasses and Sedum, because these plants have some ornamental value throughout the winter. They can then be cut back during Spring Clean-up in preparation for mulch.

Weed Control:

After mulching, we put down a pre-emergent weed control. With the combination of mulch and pre-emergent, there should be very few weed problems. However, weeds are tough little guys, and some will find a way to grow.

  • If weeds are smaller than 6”, we recommend spot-treating (spraying each weed individually) with Round-Up
  • If weeds are bigger than 6”, hand-pulling is most effective
  • Adding a thin layer of fresh mulch yearly as well as a preemergent in the spring keeps weeds to a minimum.

CAUTION: It is very important to get rid of weeds before they produce seeds, otherwise the weed problems grow exponentially. One hour now saves ten hours next year!

If you have questions about your landscape, please call us at 260-627-8342.

Enjoy Your Landscape!!!