What Does Healing In Your Plants Mean?

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In the nursery business we often toss around terminology that some people get confused by.  I often suggest to people that when they buy plants late in the fall to just “heel them in” until spring.  And they often have no idea what I mean by that.  So in this video I am going to show you what I mean by that, and show you what extremes I go to in an effort to protect my young bare root plants for the winter.  Take a look.

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  1. Colorado says

    I love your helpful tips…I’ve often thought about grafting roses, but it’s just that Colorado is so cold in the winter and I don’t have a hot house. Your tips are great though about healing in. I did try to do some cuttings on the Lilac tree that hangs over the fence to my property. I don’t think it worked out too well. I recal I crushed them under foot while trying to regrade the vegetable garden. I think I’ll try that again in the spring and maybe soak them in water for a couple of days first. I do have that root hormone.

    I’d love to have Japanese Maple varieties grace my front and back yard but I just know this bitter cold weather will kill them. Ohh, the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is beautiful in San Francisco. Love to Bonsai cedars as well. Just wish I was able to have a Japanese maple. Oh and that Bouganvelia, I’d love to have that as well. I even have trouble with the yellow variety of Honeysuckle here.

    Do you have any tips for me on that Mike? I do put leaves around the small 30 dollar plant of two years that just wont bloom prolifically. Please give me help on this. A neighbor down the street has a beautiful red variety – maybe it’s just more cold hardy but I really want this yellow one to grow and I could really use some help…Thanks Mike

    Your yard is gorgeous…which state do you live in?

  2. Anonymous says

    Mike i am going to get this for Christmas. I have waited 2 yrs but i believe this is my time. Hubby has cancer and i cant work but i adore gardening ..just plants ready to die at 1st..now i root every thing i can get my hands on. I have yucca plants everywhere now im experimenting with japanese plums..loquats..i feel i could be good at this given a chance. Hubby laughs when he sees me ..I take 2.00 and get half dead plants and i succeed.

  3. hank hajduk says

    actually, it’s “heeling” in, in reference to using the heel of your boot, to push back and firm the soil around the cutting or seedling.

  4. Anna Geary says


  5. SecretGarden says

    Usually, people show young plants being “heeled” in close to the ground or on the diagonal. Not sure why. At my son’s college, they got a ton of saplings (deciduous and evergreens) last fall. They didn’t “heel” them in; instead they just put them on the soil and heaped up more soil and then mulch around them. This spring, most got planted and they seem to be thriving!