Answer: Planting new trees and shrubs is always an exciting project! Here are some basic guidelines:
Dig a hole twice as wide as, and slightly deeper than the root ball. Roughen the sides and bottom of the hole with a pick or shovel so that roots can penetrate the soil.
With a potted shrub, gently remove the shrub from the container. Lay the shrub on its side with the container end near the planting hole. Hit the bottom and sides of the container until the root ball is loosened. If roots are growing in a circular pattern around the root ball, slice through the roots on a couple of sides of the root ball. Root tips die quickly when exposed to light and air, so don't waste time.
Place the root ball in the hole. Leave the top of the root ball (where the roots end and the trunk begins) 1/2 to 1 inch above the surrounding soil, making sure not to cover it unless roots are exposed. Do not set shrubs too deep. As you add soil to fill in around the shrub, lightly tamp the soil to collapse air pockets, or add water to help settle the soil. Form a temporary water basin around the base of the shrub to encourage water penetration, and water thoroughly after planting. A shrub with a dry root ball cannot absorb water; if the root ball is extremely dry, allow water to trickle into the soil by placing the hose at the base of the shrub.
Mulch around the shrub. A 3-foot diameter circle of mulch is the usual recomendation. Mulch helps slow water evaporation and suppresses weeds.
Best wishes with your new hibiscus!
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