When and how to plant your shrubs?


In order for shrubs to thrive, it’s important to choose the best planting time and adopt the correct method. So let’s see at what time of year is it best to plant and how to plant container or bare root shrubs, in the ground or in a container, in order to allow them to develop in excellent conditions.

When is the best time to plant your shrubs?

They are above all the weather conditions that must be considered so that the planting of shrubs is carried out at the right time. In a region with a mild climate, the ideal is to plant them in early fall so that they have time to take root. In this way, they are offered the best growing conditions during the first year after planting because it is fundamental.

In the cold regions, it may be wise towait for spring to buy the shrubs to plant because the climatic conditions are much better. We then wait for the snow to melt. But if, in the mountains for example, you still want to plant your shrubs before winter, it is better to do it during the second half of September or, at the latest, early October. But this is hardly recommended for fragile subjects, very young shrubs and those with evergreen foliage because they may not withstand very low temperatures. Finally, there is a small difference between those in containers and those sold bare root.

Planting period for container shrubs

They are also called the root ball plants. Their roots are not exposed to the stress of planting. These shrubs therefore suffer very little suffering, which is why it is possible to plant them almost throughout the year (except in the middle of summer), even if it is accepted that the best period is autumn. Nevertheless, for their guarantee a good recovery, it is recommended not to plant your evergreen shrubs in containers when temperatures are negative throughout the day and / or when the soil is extremely hard and cannot be sufficiently worked. This is the case when it does not thaw or during periods of heatwave and severe droughts.

When to plant bare root shrubs

They are more fragile than those in containers because at the time of planting, they are under real stress. That is why it is highly preferable to choose the vegetative rest period – namely in autumn – to plant them, whether (depending on the varieties chosen) in the ground or in a container. Be careful, however, there is still a difference depending on their type of foliage, namely:

  • Deciduous shrubs : it is advisable to wait until all the leaves have fallen before planting them, but their planting must be carried out before the first buds appear. In other words, if the very cold weather is early and one decides to plant deciduous shrubs with bare roots after the winter, one should not delay too much so as not to be surprised by the restarting of the vegetation.
  • Evergreen shrubs : in these varieties, vegetative rest is much less marked, or even almost absent. The planting period being extremely limited, so do not delay.

What method to plant your shrubs in the ground?

Here again, it is necessary to adopt a particular planting method depending on whether the shrubs are in clods or bare roots.

For the root ball shrubs, the method of planting in the ground is as follows:

  • Put the container to soak,
  • During this time, if it has not been done previously, dig the planting holes to a depth of 50 cm. As for the diameter of each hole, it should be three times larger than that of the container.
  • Place manure at the bottom of the hole, then topsoil that can possibly be mixed with potting soil. Note that some shrubs need an acidic soil. In this case, it is necessary to add a mixture based on so-called heather soil.
  • Take the root ball out of the container and position it in the hole.
  • Fill in the spaces with suitable soil.
  • Pack well.
  • Water very copiously.
  • Add more soil if necessary, and form a basin at the foot of the shrub.
  • Remove damaged roots.
  • Prune the roots a few centimeters to refresh them.
  • Prepare a praline then soak the root system in it. The praline is a thick mud composed of cow dung, water and clay which must coat the roots of the shrubs to be planted. It can be replaced by soil enriched with a special fertilizer which will stimulate root recovery.
  • Position each shrub in its planting hole.
  • Place fine soil between the roots.
  • Fill the hole with good soil suitable for the variety of shrub, making sure to do not bury the collar which must be at ground level.
  • Pack well and form a bowl.
  • Water very copiously.

Some varieties require a cut of their branches over a dozen centimeters as soon as they are planted. It is therefore necessary to follow the advice given by the supplier.

To plant bare root shrubs, it is advisable to prepare their locations beforehand. To do this, we dig the ground deep enough, about 50 or 60 cm, in order to loosen the soil, to weed carefully and to remove the stones. Then you have to:

Depending on the supplier’s advice, it may be necessary to prune the shrub in order to branch its branches, over more or less 30% of their length.

How to plant your shrubs in a container?

Many young trees can be planted in large pots or some large capacity bins. It is thus possible to vegetate a terrace, a balcony or even the surroundings of the swimming pool. The advantage is that we can bring them in in winter so that they do not suffer from low temperatures. They can then be put back outside as soon as the fine weather returns, when frost is no longer to be feared. Citrus, Bougainvillea, Strelitzia, Lantana, Fuchsia are among the many shrubs that are chilly, which do not tolerate harsh winters in some of our regions.

For plant a shrub in a container, it is essential to choose a sufficiently large container, at least 50 cm deep, and the bottom of which is pierced so that drainage is ensured. Indeed, the roots should never bathe in water. The container or pot must contain a quality substrate, sufficiently nourishing, such as a mixture of potting soil and good garden soil and, for some species, heather soil. Subsequently, each year it will be necessary to add a little new soil and humus so that the shrub does not lack nutrients.

At the bottom of the pot, it may be necessary to lay a layer of gravel for drainage before filling in with the substrate. Here again, once the shrub is in place, care is taken to pack the soil well and water it copiously.

During the first year following the planting of the shrubs, the gardener must be particularly vigilant at the level of watering, especially during the summer. The roots must be avoided at all costs, without drowning them. In addition, guardians can be installed at the time of planting to maintain the shrubs in strong winds. Finally, we do not hesitate to protect these young potted plants with a wintering veil as soon as necessary.

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