Annuals and Perennials
Bareroot Plants >>
Potted Plants >>
Ground Covers >>
Many plants do best when shipped in a dormant or bareroot
condition without any soil around the roots. Often plants shipped this way may
appear to be dead. However, dormant or bareroot plants are living plant material
even though they may be completely void of green buds or leaves. They’ve been
conditioned for shipping and will be ready to grow after planting. It may take as long
as 6-8 weeks before they sprout to the point where growth is obvious.
Before planting, make sure roots are moist
and soak briefly. Follow the guidelines below
for your perennial root type:
Fibrous roots (i.e. carnations, geraniums,
phlox, etc.) need to be spread downward
and not cramped. The crown (where roots
meet stems) should be level with or slightly
above the soil.
Long taproots (i.e. hollyhocks, hibiscus,
columbine, poppies, etc.) should extend
almost straight down. To avoid possible
rotting conditions, place the crown just
below the soil line.
Rhizomes (i.e. bearded, Japanese and Siberian irises)
should be planted near the surface. A small portion of
the rhizome, where the leaves connect, should be visible
above the soil.
Roots with eyes (i.e. peonies) are placed in a hole on
a cone of soil with the crown just below ground level.
Spread roots around the cone. Lightly cover the crown
Fleshy roots (i.e. daylilies, hostas) should be planted in
a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the bareroots.
Create a mound in the planting hole to hold the roots and
the crown (where roots meet the stem) at ground level.
Spread the roots over the mound. Fill the planting hole
with soil and firm with both hands. Water thoroughly.
Bareroot perennials should not be planted too deep.
The crown of the plant (where the roots meet the sprouts
or stem) should be at ground level or just below it.
If planted too deep, plants will not get enough air and
growth and flowering will be poor.
When you receive your
potted plants, you may find some leaves
appear to be yellowing or even dead. That
doesn’t mean the plants are dead. As long
as the root system is healthy, upper foliage
will soon regenerate.
Your potted plants require little attention
|Make sure the planting medium is still
moist and water if the top is dry.|
Groom the plant by pinching off any
less-than-healthy leaves (for example,
leaves that are yellowed or withered).
Transplant potted plants to their new
home as soon as possible after your
Remove plants from their shipping
pots by lightly squeezing or tapping
the sides of the container to loosen
the planting medium in which the
plant has been growing. Then, invert
the pot, gently shake the plant loose
and proceed with planting.
Plants which seem to be tightly bound to
their pots may be “root bound.” However,
they are easy to remove and prepare for
| First, squeeze the container to loosen
the compacted root ball inside.
Invert the pot and shake the plant out
of the container.
If you find a mass of roots tightly woven
into the planting medium, cut or tear off
the bottom third of the root ball.
Using a knife or trowel, score a vertical
mark on all four sides of the root ball.
Even though you will be cutting some
roots, loose ends have a tendency to
grow outward into the surrounding
soil, while unscored roots grow in the
root ball itself after planting and may
cause decreased vigor.
Some plants arrive in Ellepot® paper plant
pots. These are our environmentally
friendly, biodegradable paper pots. You
can plant the whole root ball directly into
the ground. There’s no need to remove
the paper covering the root system. For
the first two weeks after planting, water
regularly. The soil inside the Ellepot may
be more porous than the surrounding
soil and will dry out quicker. Once the
roots take hold into the surrounding soil,
less watering is necessary.
Ground cover plants
prefer deeply worked, properly fertilized soil
which is free from weeds. Dig individual
planting holes and plant each ground cover
plant as outlined above for other potted
plants. To create the most natural effect,
stagger your planting. If your planting is on
a slope, follow the contours with staggered
spacing, leaving a depression around each
plant to catch water.
Spread a 1-2" layer of mulch over the
area surrounding the plants, being careful
not to bury them. This helps retain
moisture in the soil and retards weed
growth. Maintain the mulch covering
until your ground cover plants have
spread to cover the entire planting site.
Most vines grow best when
allowed to climb up a vertical support.
When planting a climbing vine near a
building, fence, wall or tree, set the plant
at least 18" from the structure which will
support it. Then gradually train it to grow
over to the structure.
When using garden arbors, mesh-type
fencing, trellises and similar supporting
structures that are in the open, plant the
vine close to the support.
Don’t let your vines form into a
tangle. They should be pruned frequently
through the summer, spreading and
tying the shoots to keep them to a single
“layer” over the support.
To establish your clematis vines, keep
the root system cool. A sunny location
where roots can grow under a cool
covering, such as other perennials or
mulch, is ideal. Deep planting—about a
half inch deeper than it was grown in the
nursery—encourages extra-strong root
development, and frequent, thorough
watering will encourage vigorous growth.
Plant your vine about 4-6" away from
its trellis or support system. This gives
its roots space to expand and grow. To
get your vine going in the right vertical
direction, use twine or tie-wraps to loosely
attach the plant to the trellis. Vines with
tendrils will twine around the support,
while other vines may require you to
loosely twine the vine around the trellis.
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