How to Plant Shrubs

Learn how to plant shrubs in your garden with these five easy steps. 

Materials Needed

  • shrubs of choice
  • till or garden rake
  • measuring tape
  • shovel
  • watering can or garden hose
  • controlled-release fertilizer
  • mulch

Step 1: Prepare Area for Planting Shrubs

Lightly Rake Over Soil to Remove Debris

Lightly Rake Over Soil to Remove Debris

Before sowing the seeds, prepare the ground. Dig it to make sure there are no large lumps of soil or stones, and then rake over the surface to give a fine tilth or a smooth surface with the soil broken down into small particles.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

A few weeks before planting, till the area to reduce soil compaction, and incorporate some organic matter. Plan your layout carefully, and site shrubs with sufficient space for them to grow to their full size. While they are maturing, fill in any gaps with annuals and perennials, which can be then lifted and moved when necessary

Step 2: Measure Distance from Neighboring Plants

Measure Distance Between Shrubs to Avoid Crowding

Measure Distance Between Shrubs to Avoid Crowding

Measure distance between shrubs to ensure that they will have space to grow. Dig holes that are twice the width of the container and same depth as root ball.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

This will ensure your shrub has space to mature. Dig a hole about twice the width of the container and the same depth as the root ball.

Step 3: Place Shrub into Hole

Check Needed Depth of Shrub Before Planting

Check Needed Depth of Shrub Before Planting

Hole for plant should be as deep as the nursery container that holds the shrub.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Use a cane as a guide to ensure that the shrub, in its container, will be at the same level when planted as it is in its pot. Water it thoroughly.

Step 4: Enrich Excavated Soil & Fill

Fill in Around New Shrub with Enriched Soil

Fill in Around New Shrub with Enriched Soil

Remove shrub from pots, tease out the roots, and plant in hole. Fill in around the roots with enriched soil and firm in.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Remove the shrub from its pot, and place it in the hole. Fill in around the roots with the soil enriched with controlled-release fertilizer.

Step 5: Firm Soil 

Firm In Around Shrub to Expel Air Pockets in Roots

Firm In Around Shrub to Expel Air Pockets in Roots

Firm the soil around roots with fingertips to expel any air pockets that might have developed around roots. Apply mulch around plant to help hold in moisture.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Firm the soil down around the roots with your fingertips.This will help to expel any air pockets. Water in well, and apply a mulch of well-rotted organic matter, leaving a gap around the stems.

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