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Planting New Plants

  • Plant Addicts Blog
  • Plant Care
  • Landscaping Tips & Ideas
  • Plant Addicts Anonymous

Planting new shrubs, perennials, grasses and other landscaping plants can be very intimidating. However, by following simple steps, you will ensure the plants will live to be healthy and beautiful looking for years to come.

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Finding The Best Location For Plants

Before you start digging a hole for your new plants, make sure you have a location picked out that will allow the plant to thrive in. If you are like us, and purchase plants without knowing where you are going to put them, this is a crucial step. There are two main considerations when choosing the right location.

1. Light Requirements

Be sure to look at the light requirements of the plants you have. It is very important that you choose a location that the plant can handle.
Full Sun - six or more hours of direct sunlight
Partial Sun 4-6 hours of direct sun or filtered sun per day
Partial Shade - 2 to 4 hours of direct sun or filtered sun per day
Full Shade - little to no direct sunlight throughout the day

In the United States, full sunlight is usually the South side of the house, or in a location that receives very little protection or shade from trees, buildings, fences and other structures. Partial Sun/Shade are typically the West and East sides of houses. And full shade is typically the North side of the house.

Light Requirement

Hours of Sunlight

Side of House

Full Sun

6+

South

Partial Sun

4-6

East/West

Partial Shade

2-4

East/West

Full Shade

<2

North

2. Soil Requirements

Another consideration for choosing the right location, is the soil. Most plants require well drained soil. The soil type isn’t as important, as long as it will drain. Clay and rocky soil sometimes have problems draining. To test this out, dig the hole and fill it with water. Come back in 2 hours and check to see if there is any water still in the hole. If there is still standing water, the soil does not drain well. Also, If you are planting in a garden planter or container, be sure there are drainage holes in the pot.

Some shrubs that can handle poorly drained soil are sweetspire, buttonbush, dogwood and summersweet.

Best Time To Plant New Trees, Shrubs, Perennials & Grasses

There are many different myths about when the best time to plant or transplant is. Spring and fall are idea times, however you can do this anytime of the year. The main thing you need to do is ensure the plant is well-watered, especially during not summer months. During summer, we will sometimes pause shipping during times of extreme heat. This is not because you cannot plant at this time, this is because the plants get too hot in the delivery trucks and will quickly die if they are in the truck too long. Planting during winter can also be challenging, especially if the ground is frozen. It is also difficult to know how much to water plants during the winter months. So we do not recommend planting in the winter.

How Much Space Between Plants

For mass plantings, take the full mature width of the plant, and make sure to leave at least that much space between plants. So if a mature plant grows to be 4 feet wide, plant at least 4 feet apart, center on center. When creating a hedge, you can plant a little closer next to each other. A 4 foot wide plant can be planted 3 feet apart, center on center.

When planting next to a building, use the same guidelines. A 4 foot wide plant should be planted 4 feet away from a building or structure. Some plants will require even more distance away from structures due to the height of the plant and the overhang of the building’s roof.

Some plants will require even more space between them for better air circulation. Or the plants require more room in between so you can access the plant to pick flowers, fruits, and vegetables the plant produces.

Tips For Planting New Plants

  • Dig a hole 2-3X wider than the size of the root ball or current container

  • The hole should not be deeper than the root ball

  • Plant 25% higher than the surrounding soil

  • Disturb the roots if growing in a circular pattern or rootbound

  • Taper soil to cover all of the roots

  • Lightly tamp down the soil around the plant

  • Apply 2-3 inches of mulch at least as wide as the hole

  • Water the plants at least 2-3 times a week

  • Keep the plant tags for future questions!

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Planting New Plants In A Garden Planter

When choosing a garden planter to grow the plants in, choose one that is larger than the current container. That is the minimum requirement. We recommend choosing a planter that can handle the full mature size of the plant, so you do not need to re-plant later down the road. Be sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom. It is usually a good idea to have some sort of blockage at the holes with a piece of screen, a coffee filter or newspaper to prevent the dirt from falling out. Make sure the blockage doesn’t prevent the water from draining though. Put the planter in a location where the plant will get the proper amount of sunlight.