The Q&A Archives: Planting Times for Trees & Shrubs

Question: What time of year should I plan to plant a redbud tree, lilac bush, blueberries, roses, tulips and iris in my area?

Answer: Container grown trees and shrubs can be planted any time the ground is not frozen, but fall and early spring are probably the best times. Bare root plants are usually only shipped in the early spring and should be planted immediately when they arrive so they can come out of dormancy normally. Tulips and other spring flowering bulbs are generally planted in the fall so they can root and become established before blooming the next spring. Occasionally some will be available in pots in the spring, and these can be planted then. Iris grown in pots can be planted any time, but the bare rhizomes are usually sold in fall and spring and should be planted as soon as possible. If you are digging iris from a friend's house, late summer is the best time to do it.

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