Planting Jeepers Creepers® Planting Tips

Planting Jeepers Creepers® is much like planting any other kind of perennial. These planting steps should come in handy.

PLANTING STEPS

1. After preparing soil, dig hole deep enough to hold root ball.
2. Remove pot, break up root ball if root-bound.
3. Place root in hole, fill with water.
4. Refill with soil. Root ball should be slightly below soil surface.
5. Water a second time.


BUYING Jeepers Creepers®
At the garden center, look for fresh, healthy-looking plants that appear vigorous and ready to grow. Avoid overgrown, floppy or leggy-looking plants, or any that are small and struggling to stay alive. Certain types may appear to be root-bound in the pots, but they usually overcome this quickly once planted in your garden.

Any plants that have live insects or foliage diseases should be avoided, since they might start a bigger problem on plants already growing in your garden. The odd bent leaf or broken stem is usually an indication of slight damage during shipping, and this will not generally cause any long term problems. Any moss, liverwort or other weeds in the pot should be picked out and discarded before planting your new Jeepers Creepers®.

HOLDING THE PLANTS
Although Jeepers Creepers® may be held in their containers for a short period of time (say up to three weeks or so), we recommend they be planted as soon as possible to avoid having them accidentally dry out in the pots. The sooner you plant them, the faster they can become established in your garden.

If you must wait, your plants will be happiest outside, so long as temperatures are above freezing. They may be held in the garage, garden shed, or even in the house overnight, but any longer than a day or two can cause them to stretch and possibly to loose some of their cold tolerance. Regular watering will be necessary, a couple of times a week during cool weather, every day during warm spells. A lightly shaded location will help to keep them evenly moist.

WHEN TO PLANT
Mid to late Spring is the ideal time to plant Jeepers Creepers®. They have a chance to get well established before the heat of summer arrives. Plants purchased in late winter or very early spring may need special handling, depending on where you live. Avoid planting them into the ground while there is still a good chance of hard night frosts. See HOLDING (above) for ideas on how to keep them healthy until planting time.

Summer planting is very successful, so long as plants are not allowed to dry out. Watering is especially important if the weather is hot and dry.

Fall planting is also highly recommended in most regions. In cold winter areas, plan to get your Jeepers Creepers® planted at least six weeks before the ground is expected to freeze. Ground frosts may "heave" fall-planted perennials. Check them in late winter, and if any have popped out of the ground, gently press them back in place.

HOW TO PLANT
Hold the pot upside-down and shake or tap it to loosen the plant roots. If lots of roots are visible, the plant may be rootbound. If so, the root ball must be disturbed to force new, healthy root growth. To do this, take a sharp knife and slice off the bottom inch of roots, then rough up the sides of the rootball with your fingers or the knife tip.

With a spade or trowel, open up a hole deep enough to accommodate the root ball. For best planting results, use the puddling method; fill the hole with water, place the plant upright in the hole and fill in around the roots with soil. Pat the soil to thoroughly mix the soil and the water. This helps to eliminate any air pockets around the roots Be sure the root ball surface is at or just slightly below the garden soil surface. After planting, you may choose to spread a mulch to a depth of 2-5 cm (1-2"), taking care to taper it down towards the plant nd attractive. Overly rich soil or too much fertilizer can result in floppy plants with a loose and open habit. A light top dressing every other spring with about 1/2 inch of compost will keep most of these plants growing well, but no top dressings should be used on selections that grow flat to the ground. Fertilize these with half strength liquid fertilizer (for example 5-10-5).

MAINTAINING YOUR Jeepers Creepers®
Here are a few handy maintenance tips:

  • With taller-growing selections, pruning or mowing them right after blooming is over will help to maintain a nice, compact habit. Cut them back by 1/2 to 2/3.
  • With evergreen selections, removing fallen tree leaves in late fall is important, or your plants might be smothered.
  • Water during drought if possible; early morning watering avoids losing much to evaporation. In regions with regular summer dry spells, choose selections that will tolerate drought conditions.
  • If you notice empty spaces appearing between plants, it might be time to either replace with more new plants or do a total renovation. This is normal, and usually happens after a period of four to five years.
  • Control any pests and diseases as soon as noticed, to avoid spreading the problem to other plants.

CALCULATING HOW MANY PLANTS YOU NEED
Jeepers Creepers® plants have all been rated for their speed of growth: slow, medium or fast. We also indicate a range of spread for each plant as a basic guide for how far apart to place them. However, closer plant spacing will fill in more quickly. We don't recommend this for faster growing types, since they generally fill in quickly enough all on their own.

This chart should help you to calculate how many plants your need. First, figure out the area in square feet, then multiply by one of the middle columns, matching the row to chosen distance apart for each plant.

Spacing Plants/m Plants/ft Area 100 plants will fill:
10cm (4") 96.8 9 1.0m (11ft)
15cm (6") 43 4 2.3m (25ft)
20cm (8") 24.2 2.25 4.1m (45ft)
25cm (10") 15 1.4 6.7m (72ft)
30cm (12") 10.8 1 9.3m (100ft)
40cm (16") 6.1 0.57 16.5m (176ft)
45cm (18") 4.7 0.44 21.3m (227ft)
60cm (24") 2.7 0.25 37m (400ft)

ABOUT LANDSCAPE FABRIC
Landscape fabric can work well around trees and shrubs but it's usually not a good choice for perennial plantings. The fabric acts like a collar, preventing the growth crown from increasing as it wants to. Many of the Jeepers Creepers® plants are mat-forming, crawling along the ground and rooting in as they grow. Landscape fabric makes it difficult for them to form new roots, so open patches might show up after a couple of seasons. When this occurs, adding more plants to fill in those open spaces becomes extremely difficult to do when landscape fabric is in the way.



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