Plant health care is very important yet many homeowners don’t exactly know what it is or how their plants and landscape benefit from it. This is the first of several posts where we’ll explain what it is, how it works and why it’s a good investment for Portland homeowners (and business owners too).
What’s the main cause of plant problems?
Plants grow best when their basic needs are met. When they have everything they need, they can grow big and strong. Like us humans, their bodies have a natural defense system that is very good at warding off pests and disease-when they are healthy.
Research has found that 90% of all insect and disease problems in plants are caused by the plant having deficiencies, which makes them more susceptible to insect and disease problems.
WHAT CAUSES PLANTS TO BE UNHEALTHY?
- Planted in the wrong location
- Not enough water or sun
- Soil being compacted
- Bad planting techniques
- Not enough nutrients or micronutrients in the soil
- Poor pruning
One or all of these things can cause the plant stress and/or to suffer so if these things are eliminated, your plants will be stronger and healthier. When that happens, you greatly increase the chance of not having problems with your plants so homeowners should focus on keeping their plants healthy rather than wondering how to kill the insects or disease once their plants are afflicted.
After all, doesn’t it make more sense to prevent the problem in the first place rather than dealing with it later? Another benefit is that preventative measures usually cost less and are more effective than waiting to deal with a problem after it spreads to all your plants.
What is Plant Health Care?
Since a healthy plant’s defense system is so efficient at warding off pests and disease, it makes sense that we should do whatever we can to keep them healthy. A plant in a stressed environment and/or in poor health simply does not have the energy to fight so when it’s exposed to pests or diseases, it suffers.
Plant Health Care (PHC) keeps your plants as healthy as possible. It starts with a PHC professional examining all your plants and their growing conditions. A comprehensive inventory of all the plants on your property is taken. Next, a PHC program is created that contains a customized solution for your plants and landscape.
WHAT’S THE GOAL OF THE PLANT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM?
The purpose of the program is to improve the growing conditions of all your plants and (if needed) apply environmentally sensitive treatments to correct any minor problems BEFORE they become BIG problems.
Think of it as preventative maintenance for your plants. You have maintenance done on your car or furnace to prevent a breakdown, so this is the same thing.
Monitoring your plants is a major part of the program; our plant specialists knows exactly what signs to look for so he/she can discover and start to correct any issues right away. Depending on your plan, the PHC specialist may make anywhere from 4 to 8 inspections per year.
They’ll use environmentally friendly treatments like horticultural oil and pheromone scent traps to combat any insects and have the expertise to use these treatments at the most effective times. Again, the purpose is to correct any issues before they can cause much harm to your landscape.
Plant care has changed over the years
In the past, traditional plant care was focused on dealing with problems after the fact so pest spraying was very common. There are many kinds of pests/disease and hundreds of types of plants so treatments often were not as effective as hoped.
So, what changed? We have 90 years of experience and decades of research that has helped us develop a smarter, more effective and environmentally sensitive program that focuses on plant health and prevention of insect/disease issues.
In future posts, we’ll discuss more about Plant Health Care programs and why they are such a good investment for Portland homeowners.