The Q&A Archives: Freshly Potted Evergreens And Rain To Frost Weather

Question: We just bought many evergreens this weekend (Zone 5 - IN): arborvitaes, yews, and mugho pines.
It was raining the whole night yesterday, freezing rain to snow today. It suppose to go down to 21 deg in the night.
We put the pots together outside in area with minimal wind and partial sun.
Do we need to protect them more? Will they be O.K. as of now? Based on the weather, planting won't be possible for some days now.

Answer: Winter hardy plants such as these that have been outdoors at the nursery and are therefore already acclimated to the weather can be successfully planted very early in the spring, as long as the soil is workable. Workable means it is not completely saturated and muddy, and not too frozen to dig.

It is better to plant them as early as possible rather than waiting. This longer time in the ground allows the roots more time to become established before the hot summer weather comes, and also protects the roots from temperature swings.

In the meantime, keep them outdoors in a location that is sheltered from the wind and in full morning sun if possible. Take care to keep the soil slightly moist while they are waiting to go into the ground. You could also heap some mulch over and around the pots to moderate the temperature in the rootballs. But once again, plant them asap. Good luck with your new shrubs!

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