How to Plant Perennials

Follow these simple planting guidelines to help your plants establish quickly.

Before planting, remove any weeds that may have cropped up in your garden bed. Loosen the soil where you will plant the perennial and dig a hole twice as wide, giving the roots plenty of room to grow, and dig the hole as deep as their container. Planting too deep or too shallow stresses the plants.

Add compost (we recommend the MOBOT compost) mixed in with the native soil at a ratio of 1 part compost per 4 parts soil. DO NOT USE POTTING SOIL This is a waste of money and does nothing to help the plant get established.

Once you remove the plant from the pot, loosen the roots if they are closely pressed against the side of the container and growing in circles around the inside. Gently loosen them, teasing them out so they can grow outward into the surrounding soil. If left like this, the roots will girdle the plant. This means they may keep growing in circles and the plant will remain stunted or even choking the plant. If the roots are too tough to pull apart, you may need to use a pruning shears or a knife to make three or four cuts through the roots. This will stimulate new root growth out into the soil.

We recommend Root Stimulator by Fertilome. Pour the diluted solution on the root ball prior to backfilling (make sure the root ball is moist so you don’t burn the roots with the fertilizer) Repeat in 7-10 days by pouring the diluted solution on top of the soil around the base of the plant. Repeat monthly doing your last application in September.

Water plants thoroughly after transplanting. Don’t let the soil dry out for the first week or two while the roots get established. Check daily to make sure that the soil around the transplants is moist below the surface and that the plants aren’t wilted. For the plant to get established, it is very important that plants get watered regularly the first year.

Adding a layer of mulch 1-2” will help the soil retain moisture. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the plant stems.

Be sure to space plants properly. Refer to the plant label about specific spacing suggestions for the variety you are growing. (Use spread information in plant database as a guide.) It may take perennials several years to reach their full size.