Planting Tips

Your native plants have been grown with care and with attention to some basic planting tips, will adapt to their new home. Remember to plant each species in the location for which it is suited, e.g. "sunny with medium soil", etc.  Even our most drought-tolerant native plants need a season or two of watering to get their roots established before they can withstand drought.

How to plant your shrub or tree

  1. DIG a hole two or three times wider than the pot and no deeper than the plant is in its pot.
  1. EXPOSE the root flare if it’s not visible at the soil surface. That’s the slightly swollen spot where the trunk meets the roots. If it’s not showing, gently scrape the soil away.
  1. REMOVE all packaging including burlap, twine, etc.
  1. PLACE the shrub or tree in the hole. Fill with soil and tamp down to eliminate air pockets.
  1. MULCH evenly in a circle two to three inches deep (no volcano- or donut-shaped mounds), extending as far out from the trunk as the tips of the branches go. Leave space between the mulch and the trunk - mulch should not touch the trunk or it might lead to disease. Fresh woodchips are not recommended because as they decompose, nutrients are pulled away from your plant.
  1. ENCIRCLE with a wire or plastic cage the first few years if deer or rabbits are an issue.

  Water one inch each week unless we get a good soaking rain. If planting in the fall, water until the ground freezes.


How to plant your flowering perennial, grass or fern

  1. SOAK the plant in its container thoroughly before planting. A quick tip is to plunge the container into a bucket of water and wait for all the bubbles to stop, which happens when the soil is saturated.

  2. DIG a hole big enough for the plant - use the container as a measure.

  3. REMOVE the plant from its container and carefully break up the lower roots, to encourage new root growth.

  4. PLACE the plant in the hole, making sure that it sits at the existing ground level, neither too high nor low.

  5. FILL the soil back in around the plant, taking care to push it firmly back in place and not leave air pockets.

  6. WATER deeply, saturate the soil around the plant. At least 1" of water, 2" if the soil is dry to begin with.

  7. Wait several days before watering again - always water DEEPLY.

  8. Check the soil regularly and WATER when it feels dry.

  9. Watch how the plants are growing (wilting can come from over watering too, because the roots rot). Periodic SOAKING is much better than sprinkling water daily.