Empress Trees can easily grow to 18 ft the first year with proper care.
- You want to purchase Garden Soil with fertilizer, such as Miracle Grow garden soil with fertilizer.
- You want to dig a hole at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the bucket the tree is in. Mix the soil you take out of the hole with the potting soil a 50/50 mix. Fill hole halfway with mix and place tree in the middle and pack soil around the sides.
- Soak the tree well to give it a good drink and also to help eliminate any air pockets in the soil which can damage roots. “ If soil is really dry dig the hole and fill with water, let drain, refill and let drain again and then plant tree.” This will establish a groundwater base to get the tree off to a good start.
- Water trees deeply every 2 to 3 days unless severe heat makes leaves wilt and then water more often to re-hydrate the leaves.
- Deep watering helps develop long strong tap roots to give you a healthy, strong tree. Shallow surface watering is never good as it encourages roots to come to the surface to drink water and then when the sun dries the surface water the roots are burning in the sun and puts the plant into shock stunting the growth and may ultimately kill the plant.
- Fertilize often with an all-purpose fertilizer such as Miracle Grow. DO NOT over fertilize as you can burn the trees. It is better to fertilize with a weak dose every time you water than to fertilize occasionally with a full strength dose. Once the trees are established you can use a granular slow release fertilizer sprinkled on the drip line and never close to the trunk and that way you automatically feed every time you water.
- Pruning is very important. Always prune from the bottom up. Leave at least 6 to 8 leaves on top until you get the tree canopy to the height that you want. Aggressive pruning will promote faster growth as it allows the plants strength to go to the roots and the trunk quickly developing a tall strong tree.