Planting time for ornamental shrubs

Garden Life
Ornamental shrubs are usable in various ways – they can be an eyecatcher along the garden-path or patio as well as a colourful hedge on its own. Shrubs are available in any shape and colour. They have different requirements - that is why they can be planted almost anywhere. The ideal time for planting shrubs is autumn, as the plants have enough time to grow and take root, they also require very little watering. In the following section you will find tips for buying and planting ornamental shrubs and a small overview of the varieties available.

Different kinds of shrubs have different needs

There is a big distinction between evergreen and deciduous ornamental shrubs. Deciduous shrubs throw their leaves in autumn while evergreen shrubs show colour even in winter. Quite 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 in your garden.

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 soil moisture and permeability, as well as the amount of sun the area gets. 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, your shrubs should 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 dip the root into a bucket of water until no more bubbles appear. While the shrub gets watered, you can dig the hole, which should be twice as large as the root ball. Make sure you loosen the soil properly so that the rooting is accelerated. The water permeability can be improved by mixing it with some sand in the ground. After watering the shrub, place it next to the desired location. If the soil is penetrated heavily by roots you should carve sideways with a knife, this way your shrub can form new roots more easily. Place the plant into the hole ensuring the ornamental shrub has been planted as deep as 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. To help keep away unwanted weeds, use cattle manure as mulch. 
Now water your shrub sufficiently. You can form a small mound around the shrub with your hands to prevent water draining away. The watering is also good for closing remaining holes between the natural soil and root ball.

Larger shrubs are at risk of being damaged by strong winds. To help them stay upright you can fix one or more supporting posts for additional stability.

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