Raise The Stakes In Your Yard



If your dragonfruit, banana leaf tree or bamboo is showing signs of droopiness or falling to the wayside, it's totally normal. Many species of plants and trees just need a bit more stability for their oversized leaves or longer branches. This just means your plants need a little extra stabilization and upright provocation to initiate continued growth. But when is it time to pull the stick out of the soil to allow the plant to do its natural thing without depending on your makeshift support system? Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries & Gardens in Myakka City sheds light on the timing and telltale sign of when to raise the stake from your garden or greenhouse to let your plant babies stand on their own feet roots. 

SRQ: How long should I keep a stake on my tree for?

Kathy: When staking is necessary, the sooner the stakes are removed the sooner the plant can develop a strong trunk and root system on its own. With most small trees, remove stakes after one year; larger trees might require stakes left in place for two years. You can test to see if a stake can be removed by moving the trunk of the tree and watching for movement of the root ball. No movement means you no longer need the stake.  Make sure to check the ties as the trees grow they become tight and can harm the tree.  Sometimes a stake is not necessary, as the rocking of the tree from wind can make it stronger.  If a tree keeps falling over in a windy area, leave the stake off and let the tree grow naturally; they really know how to grow against the wind.  The tree may lean to one side, but the top will eventually straighten out to balance itself naturally.

If you have a particular gardening question you'd like answered and featured in a future column, email SRQDailyGardening@srqme.com

Crowley Nursery, 16423 Jomar Road Sarasota, 941-322-0315.

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