The Q&A Archives: planting

Question: how is the best way to plant hibicus trees from a potted plant to outside, I live in middle Tennessee?

Answer: Planting shrubs, especially in the middle of summer, takes extra care. Start by digging a hole just slightly deeper and wider than the nursery pot. You want the plant to be growing at the same soil level as it was growing in the pot. Too deep and it will struggle; too shallow and the roots may be exposed to the elements. You can test the size of the hole by placing the potted plant in the hole and checking the depth and width. When you're satisfied the hole is just the right size, lay the plant on its side and gently pull it out of the pot. Loosen the roots slightly with your fingers so they won't be growing around and around in a circle in the shape of the pot. Set the plant in the hole and backfill with the soil you took out of the hole. Tamp it down to remove air pockets and then water your plant thoroughly to help settle the soil. You can spread a few inches of organic mulch over the bare soil beneath the hibiscus to help slow water evaporation and suppress weeds. Water your plant deeply once or twice a week during the growing season. Expect it to wilt a little and drop some leaves. It will be stressed for several weeks until the roots become established in their new home. After a few weeks you should see some new growth. Don't feed or prune until the plant has a chance to recover from transplanting.

Enjoy your garden!

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