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Improve Plant Survival

 A How-To Guide to Spring Planting with Hydretain

Believe it or not, the official first day of spring is less than a month away. So, whether you’re preparing for the next blizzard or are already experiencing the early warm-up that Punxsutawney Phil predicted on Groundhog Day, it’s time to begin planning for spring planting.

In landscaping, there are few things more depressing than failed installations. After developing a site plan, buying healthy plants, and spending the time putting them in, having them fail is a blow to more than just your ego. Adding an insurance policy to help new plants thrive can be far less expensive than the time, labor, materials costs and reputation that you could loose on unsuccessful installs.

Improper watering practices – both under and over watering – is one of the biggest challenges to keeping new plants healthy. By managing soil moisture, Hydretain provides numerous benefits to improve plant survival.  Once applied and watered into the root zone, Hydretain functions to condense soil moisture back into plant usable water droplets. For under-waterers or in water restricted environments, use Hydretain to increase watering efficiency and allow plants to thrive twice as long between watering cycles. Hydretain does not swell up and store water, and although it will not affect saturated soils during periods of excess rainfall it will not lead to increased fungus or root rot. For over-waterers, use Hydretain to provide the comfort they need to cut back to healthy watering frequencies.

As you prepare for spring planting installations, the following guide provides information on the various ways that Hydretain can be incorporated into your spring planting programs. Hydretain is available in both liquid and granular product options.

Flowers/Color Installation:

By increasing water availability to plant roots, Hydretain improves transplant establishment, minimizes wilt and extends flowers life.

  • Drench: Add liquid Hydretain at a rate of 2 oz. per gallon of water to the initial drench solution used to water in transplants.
  • Pre-Plant Dip: Dilute Hydretain at a rate of 2 oz. per gallon of water and use as a pre-soak dip to treat trays or potted plants prior to transplant. Allow plants to sit in dip solution long enough to saturate the soil media.
  • Spray: Dilute Hydretain at a rate of 2 oz. per gallon of water and apply 1 gallon of solution per 60 sq. ft. of area (one gallon of Hydretain treats 4,000 sq. ft. of landscape beds). Rinse Hydretain solution off of flowers and water-in to the root zone.
  • Incorporate: Add Hydretain Granular OC or QD into the bed before planting at a rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet of planter bed.
  • Spread: Apply Hydretain Granular OC or QD topically around plants after installation at rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet of planter bed.


From winter damage repair to new lawn installation, Hydretain increases seed germination and improves the survival of seedlings, sod, springs and plugs.

  • Spread: Apply Hydretain Granular OC or QD at rate of 2.7 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. Add Hydretain Granular products to the soil prior to planting or spread it over the top of new seed, sod, springs or plugs.
  • Spray: Apply liquid Hydretain at a rate of 9 oz per 1,000 sq. ft. Spray Hydretain liquid products on the soil immediately prior to planting or over the top of new seed, sod, springs, or plugs and water-in to the seed level or root zone.

Note: The advantage of applying Hydretain after spring planting is that seeds coated with Hydretain may imbibe water more quickly for faster germination. Applying Hydretain on top of laid sod will allow the Hydretain to enter the sod slab, preventing it from drying out, and the soil below providing optimal soil moisture for new roots to tack and knit. While applications after planting are the primary recommendation, it is not always possible or practical to apply products over new plantings. When this is not possible, applications prior to planting are acceptable.

Trees and Shrubs:

When installing new trees and shrubs, use Hydretain to reduce transplant shock and improve survival rate for these larger landscape assets.

  • Incorporate: Add Hydretain granular throughout the backfill soil when planting new trees and shrubs at a rate of 1 lb. per cubic foot of planting media for shrubs and 1.2 to 2 lbs. per caliper inch for trees.
  • Drench: Dilute Hydretain at a rate of 2 oz per gallon of water and saturate the root ball prior to planting or use diluted material as a post installation drench solution. For trees, apply Hydretain at a rate of 4 oz per caliper inch.
  • Injection Into Drip Irrigation: Apply at a rate of 4 oz of Hydretain concentrate per caliper inch.
  • Watering Bags: When using watering bags such as Treegator®, Hydretain can be added directly into the bag at a rate of 4 oz per caliper inch.

For additional information or specific application questions, please contact our agronomic experts.