The Q&A Archives: Planting Time For Bushes

Question: I see Peoney Trees and other small shrubs (by Martha Stewart) in my K-Mart store. They are starting to sprout leaves already but it is not near time to plant here yet. It will be at least six weeks before it would be safe to plant here, could I plant them into containers in doors for that six weeks. I can't imagine they will last in the containers they are in for another six weeks. However if you do not buy now they will be gone. Please advise.

Answer: You are right to wonder about it. Bare root plants should be kept cool so they will stay dormant and they should be planted immediately while still dormant so they can wake up naturally with the season. Alternatively they could be potted up and kept in a poly house or similarly protected indoors at night (in the garage maybe) but set outside in a sheltered location out of wind during the day so they can grow on until it is safe to plant them in the ground. Once they start to grow foliage indoors they are very tender and must be protected from frost; however, keeping them indoors is usually not a bright enough location for them to be healthy.

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