Planting Shrubs and Other Woody Plants

Shapely pruned shrubs in OregonPlanting shrubs is a straightforward process, though most people plant them too deeply.

First, make sure you've got a good place for the new plant, taking into account its mature size; soil type, soil pH, water, and light needs; and other factors that might influence its growth.

Dig your hole, making it at least one-and-a-half times wider than the root ball but one inch shallower. Shave off the entire outer periphery of the root ball.

Place the plant in the hole and fill the soil back around the sides of the root ball, but don't put any soil on top of it. Add mulch around the plant, but not on top of the root ball.

When adding a new shrub to your landscape, you should let the plant adjust to its new surroundings and help it along with these watering guidelines.

Three-gallon shrubs can be established in northern Florida with as little as one gallon of irrigation water applied every eight days. In southern Florida, apply a gallon of water every four days.

Light, frequent applications are much more efficient and effective than applying large volumes less frequently. Shrubs are able to survive and grow with little or no irrigation once roots grow to the outer edge of the canopy which happens at about 20 to 28 weeks after planting.

Read more in "Watering to Establish Shrubs."

UF/IFAS Publications