Planting shrubs: when and how? Our advice

For the shrubs to thrive, it is important to choose the best planting time and adopt the right method. So let’s see at what time of year is it best to plant and how to plant shrubs in containers or with bare roots, in the ground or in containers, to allow them to grow in excellent conditions.

When is the best time to plant shrubs?

These are above all the weather conditions which 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 from the beginning of autumn so that they have time to take root well. In this way, they are offered the best growing conditions in the first year after planting because it is fundamental.

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

Period of planting shrubs in containers

They are also called the plug plants. Their roots are little 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 assumed that the best period is autumn. Nevertheless, for their ensure a good recovery, it is recommended not to plant its evergreen shrubs in a container when the 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 heat waves and severe droughts.

Planting time for bare root shrubs

They are more fragile than those in containers because at the time of planting, they are under real stress. This is why it is highly preferable to choose the vegetative rest period – namely in the fall – 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 to plant them, but their planting must imperatively be carried out before the appearance of the first buds. In other words, if the extreme cold comes early and you decide to plant bare-rooted deciduous shrubs after winter, you should not delay too long so as not to be surprised by the restarting of vegetation.
  • evergreen shrubs : in these varieties, vegetative rest is much less marked, even almost absent. The planting period being extremely limitedso don’t delay.

How to plant shrubs in the ground?

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

For the rootball shrubsthe method of planting in the ground is as follows:

  • Put the container to soak,
  • During this time, if this has not been done before, 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 and then topsoil that can be mixed with potting soil if necessary. Note that some shrubs need acidic soil. In this case, it is necessary to bring a mixture based on earth called heather.
  • Remove the root ball from the container and position it in the hole.
  • Fill the spaces with suitable soil.
  • Pack well.
  • Water very generously.
  • Add soil if necessary, and form a basin at the foot of the shrub.
  • Remove damaged roots.
  • Trim the roots a few centimeters to freshen them up.
  • Prepare a pralinage then soak the root system in it. Pralinage is a thick mud made up 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 that will stimulate root growth.
  • 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, taking care to do not bury the collar which should be at ground level.
  • Pack well and form a bowl.
  • Water very generously.

Some varieties require a cut of their branches over about ten 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 quite deeply, about 50 or 60 cm, in order to loosen the soil, carefully weed and eliminate stones. You must then:

According to the advice of the supplier, it may be necessary to prune the shrub in order to ramifier ses branchesover more or less 30% of their length.

How to plant your shrubs in a container?

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

Pour plant a shrub in a container, it is essential to choose a sufficiently large container, at least 50 cm deep, with a hole in the bottom to ensure drainage. Indeed, the roots should never be immersed in water. The tray or pot must contain a quality substrate, sufficiently nutritious, such as a mixture of compost and good garden soil and, for certain species, heather soil. Thereafter, it will be necessary each year 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 with the substrate. Again, once the shrub is in place, take care to pack the soil well and water copiously.

During the first year following the planting of the shrubs, the gardener must be particularly vigilant at the level of the watering, especially during the summer. It is necessary to avoid at all costs the drying out of the roots, without drowning them. Moreover, tutors can be installed at the time of planting to maintain the shrubs in case of high winds. Finally, we do not hesitate to protect these young potted plants with a winter sail as soon as necessary.

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