Need advice on plants producing more new leaves

padma_2009June 2, 2009


I have just started an edible backyard with some Asian fruit plants that i bought online. The plants are just 2 feet tall with just 6-9 leaves on it. I would love to have any advice on growing lushier green plants. I dont want the plants to flower or fruit as yet but I need to know if there is any spray for making the leaves and leaf buds to grow more vigorously. Thanking you all in advance... :)


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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

The first year or two of a transplant life should be devoted to root development. You won't stop flowering, if it happens, so manually deflower the first two years. The biggest think you can do for this plant is to keep it watered and DON'T fertilize until the spring of the third year. Prune only to promote good branching, google pruning for detailed info.

Oh, let mother nature do her think, BE PATIENT! Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 9:32PM
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Thanks petzold6596!!!

I just put my plants in ground about 10 days ago. I did not add anything but I added some dry cow manure which I got from a nearby farm. I am watering it and as I live in Phoenix, the temps reach to 120 F for some days. So I was considering a little shade with burlap cloth on stakes. Do u think it is a good idea? I have heard of 'Spray N Grow' do u have any idea about it. My plants r just 2-3 feet tall and have around 10 leaves on it. So I want to help it in increasing the leaf and leaf bud growth. Any suggestions would be of great help.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 2:38PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

The manure is no problem as it is slow release nutrient source.
The shading would do wonders especially from the afternoon sun. I don't use thing like 'spray n grow' because I'm frugal and think the tradition fertilizing method is better. Mother Nature does a pretty good job regarding plant growth so let her do her job with a little "help" as previously stated.

Remember: BE PATIENT and water, water, water.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:39PM
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Hi Petzold6596,

Thanks a lot for ur advice. I will defintely go ahead with the shade and leave the spary part.

I noticed that the cow manure has some small white live worms in in. The earthworms too have increased. Is it good for my plants. Do I need to remove the manure? Will the white worms kill my plants?

This is the first time I am gardening and I want to make my plants happy.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 4:12PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

A more detailed description of the 'white worms' would help me id them.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 10:04PM
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Hi petzold6596,

The white worms are around 1 cm in length. I turned the manure over and they sort of just died in the heat. But I am sure more will be back when the manure is wet. It is in the part where the manure is moist during watering the plants. I will try to find the name of the worms. Thank you very much.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 4:23PM
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The white worms could be maggots - the larval form of flies. They will only survive in moist manure so let it dry out.

One problem with using manure is that it can burn tender plant roots if it hasn't composted. Manure may also bring in seeds (weeds, grass, etc.) if it hasn't composted.

A great resource for growing tropical fruits is the Arizona Rare Fruit Growers. They have a demonstration garden at the U of A Extension office in Phoenix and are more than willing to offer advice on growing these types of plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arizona Rare Fruit Growers

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 11:44AM
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Padma -
First - What are you growing? Can't give decent advice until we know that.

I live in Phoenix. The first few weeks the plants just sit there - don't worry, they are establishing roots. Then they will start to add top growth. Trying to force top growth before the roots get established is like trying to get your baby to be 7 feet tall by using steroids ... not healthy, and maybe fatal.

Do NOT use any more dry manure - it's very salty and not as good a source of nutrients as you might think. Get a large bag of "soil sulfur". Sprinkle it liberally around the planting area before you mulch - a cup-ful for ever square meter of land is not too much. Rake it in a bit and water the area to start dissolving it. This raises the pH, increases the availability of iron and some other nutrients.

The ONLY things you absolutely need to do are make sure there is reliable watering (preferable from a drip system) to keep the planting area evenly moist. Buy a moisture meter and use it.

Mulch the planting area thickly with something - straw, shredded paper, compost, old leaves, or whatever, to help conserve moisture.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Hi lazygardener & aztreelvr,

I removed the cow manure as the maggots were just increasing and we saw an increase in the flies too. I will follow ur advice and apply soil sulfur and rake the soil and water and then mulch.

The tropical fruit plants that I am growing are 'Silas Wood Sapodilla', Green Sugar Apple, Gooseberry (Otahiti Gooseberry/Phylanthus Acidus), Papaya (Red Lady), Jackfruit Seedlings.

Two orange plants (tangerine & tangelo), Mexican Lime, Peach tree (May Pride).

I would love to be able to visit the az rare fruit growers, but looks like the sale was over in march. If u happen to know when the next one is please do let me know... :)


    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:27PM
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