Shrubs growing in a plastic pot may be planted 12 months a year.
To transplant shrubs, evaluate the site to determine its suitability. A soil test for specific plants now can save you problems later. Avoid places where water tends to puddle or areas under downspouts, to eliminate root rot problems.
Dig the hole three times as wide as the root ball. For even more success, make the hole six times as wide. The hole should be no deeper than the root ball. Pitch the soil into a wheelbarrow and mix in 1 cubic foot of soil conditioner per 3 cubic feet of soil. Mix everything thoroughly.
Take the shrub out of the container and thoroughly loosen the roots. This is one of the most important things you can do to insure success. It encourages roots to quickly grow into the surrounding soil. Fill the hole around the plant, using soil from the wheelbarrow, so it will rest at the same soil level as in the container.
Firm the soil gently with your hands. Add more soil as needed to keep the root ball level and slightly covered with soil. Water thoroughly after planting and again several hours later. Add a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and prevent weed competition.
Do not fertilize for at least a month after planting. Water twice the first week – for a three-gallon plant, three to five gallons per watering should be enough – once per week after that. Remember that roots need oxygen as well as water. Too much water will prevent the roots from getting sufficient oxygen. Watering in summer will be more frequent than in fall or spring….use your judgement on how often. It’s important to let the soil dry between waterings.