The Q&A Archives: Establishing new shrubs

Question: I purchased 4 Gold Coast Junipers this spring and planted them on the south side of the house. We have experienced an extremely dry spring this year, and are over 4

Answer: Junipers require full sun and well-draining soils. Even though it has been hot, your shrubs only need about one-inch of water per week which equates to one or two deep soakings (not every other day). If you water too often the soil can become waterlogged, which squeezes out available air and can actually suffocate the roots. The easiest way to water is to dig a watering well or basin beneath each shrub and fill the basin; allow to drain and fill it a second time. This will concentrate the moisture over the rootmass and allow it to trickle down and wet the entire root ball. Wait a week and water again. If you're not sure how well the soil drains, water as above, wait 3-4 days and stick your finger down into the soil. If it's still moist 2" down, you won't need to water for a few days. If it is dry, you can water deeply once again. I think if you adjust your watering schedule your junipers will have a better chance of establishing their roots and thriving.

Best wishes with your junipers!

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