The Q&A Archives: Planting Depth

Question: We are in the process of establishing a Garden island in our front yard and wish to include a Weeping Siberian Peashrub. We would like to know: 1. How deep should this be planted; and 2. How deep does the root system of this shrub usually get? We have landscape fabric under approximately 3-4 feet of top soil surrounded by rock and want to know whether we need to cut open this fabric for the roots. Thank You

Answer: Caragana, the peashrub, should be planted at the same soil level as it was growing in the nursery pot. If planted too deeply, the main stem can rot; if not planted deeply enough, the roots will be too close to the surface and can dry out, or the roots can actually push the shrub out of the ground as they grow. Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the nursery pot, place a small mound of soil at the bottom of the hole; unpot your plant, massage the roots a bit to break them up; drape the roots over the soil mound, then backfill with soil, gently tamping it down. Water your plant well after planting to help settle the soil.

You can expect the root mass to be concentrated in the top 10-12" of soil. Landscape fabric 3-4' beneath the soil surface should not impede root growth.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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