Planting time for ornamental shrubs

Garden Life
Ornamental shrubs are usable in various ways – they can be an eyecatcher along the garden-path as well as a beautification of the terrace, a colourful loosening of hedges or a hedge on its own. Shrubs are available in any shape and colour. They have different requirements - that is why they can be planted almost everywhere. The ideal time for planting shrubs is autumn. The plants have enough time to take roots, to grow and you do not have to water them very often. In the following you will find some tips for buying and planting ornamental shrubs and a small overview of the variety.

Different kinds of shrubs have different needs

A distinction is made between evergreen and deciduous ornamental shrubs. Deciduous shrubs throw their leaves in autumn while evergreen shrubs show colour even in winter. Very often shrubs are single plants because they require a lot of space. They can also be used as a hedge by planting them lined up. You can find shrubs for nearly every spot. 

What you should pay attention to before buying shrubs
Before you swing the spade you should inspect the desired planting location. It is important to pay attention to the amount of sun, the soil moisture and soil permeability. Using these criteria, you can compare the needs of the different bushes and find a suitable shrub. You should not forget to consider the specified height and width to provide sufficient space for the plant. If you meet these criteria it is nearly guaranteed that your shrubs develop gloriously.

How to plant your ornamental shrub
The root ball of the ornamental shrub must be watered before being planted. Take off the pot and dive the root into a bucket of water until no more bubbles come up. While the shrub gets watered, you can dig out the hole, which should be twice as large as the root ball. Loosen the soil properly so that the rooting will be accelerated. The water permeability can be improved by mixing with some sand in the ground. After watering the shrub, place it next to the desired location. If the bale is penetrated heavily by roots you should carve sideways with a knife. This way your shrub can form new roots more easily. Then put the plant into the hole. The ornamental shrub must be planted as deep as it has been in the pot. Afterwards press the surrounding soil to the plant so that the roots have direct contact to the ground. Your plant gets valuable nutrients by raking in some compost or bark humus in the upper soil layer. Cattle mulch keeps away unwanted weeds.
Now water your shrub sufficiently. You can form a small mound around the shrub with your hands to prevent that water drains away. The watering is also good for closing remaining holes between natural soil and root ball.

Larger shrubs might be endangered by strong wind. To help them stay upright you can fix one or more supporting posts for additional stability.
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Small overview of various types of ornamental shrubs

  • Dwarf shrubs:
    Height: Up to 1 m
    Features: Delicate, small
    Use: Perimeter hedge
    Examples: Boxwood, Ceanothus, St. John’s Wort
  • Ornamental shrubs: Height: Max. 2,50 m
    Features: Loose vegetation, bloom at different times in different colours
    Use: Mixed hedges, single position
    Examples: Syringa, Forsythia × intermedia, Spiraea japonica Goldflame 
  • Big shrubs: 
    Height: Up to 3 m and more
    Features: Powerful appearance
    Use: Single position, hedge
    Examples: Magnolia Stellata, Magnolia Liliiflora, Sorbus