QUESTION: What’s the best time to plant shrubs? My husband and I have an argument about this subject and I’m not going to say which of us says what. Is there a best time, and what it is? – Renata W
ANSWER: The best time to plant shrubs is in the fall. There are multiple reasons for this. The first reason is the conditions are right.
During fall, the soil is still warm, but the air is cool. This puts less stress on the plant and, in turn, encourages it to focus on establishing a strong root system.
The next reason fall is the right time is it gives the plant time to become established prior to the blooming season.
Most shrubs bloom in the warmer portions of the year. If you plant in the fall, the plant has all winter and early spring to become established before it must focus on blooming. This provides a large window where the only focus of the plant is establishing roots.
Another reason why planting shrubs in the fall is the best time is because it benefits the gardener. When you plant in the spring, the shrub requires constant watering to encourage the plant to develop roots.
By planting in the fall, the shrub is going to do a lot of work during its dormant period. When a plant is dormant, it doesn’t need as much water or care.
Therefore, the shrub develops roots without much help from you.
However, there are a few things you must know about planting shrubs. Our first tips are for planting shrubs throughout the year. As a general rule of thumb, be sure to consider your growing location prior to planting.
You must ensure the area receives adequate lighting and has proper drainage. If not, work on fixing the drainage in the growing area prior to planting shrubs.
Also, be sure to mulch your shrubs. Beware of volcano mulching. This doesn’t help the plant retain moisture the appropriate way and can do more harm than good.
When planting shrubs in fall, it’s okay to amend the soil prior to planting to provide adequate nutrients and improve soil drainage.
However, be sure you don’t apply nitrogen-heavy fertilizers. This could encourage new growth of the plant as it heads into winter. This does more damage than good for the plant as it takes the focus off of establishing roots.
These are a few reasons why fall is the best time to plant shrubs and a few things you should consider when planting shrubs.
Take these tips and utilize them to give your shrubs the best start when creating a new look for your landscape.