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Buying Shrubs Online, How To

Before you buy shrubs online, check you have identified the correct hardiness zone for your area. Knowing your zone will ensure you buy shrubs of the right hardiness for your climate. ( US Hardiness Zones )

Things to check before you buy might include;
  • Your Hardiness Zone
  • Shrub Hardiness
  • Soil pH and soil type, clay, loamy, sandy etc.
  • Amount of sunlight, for example a shady location would suit a shade loving shrub better than a location in full sun.
  • The amount of moisture you have in your planting location must also be known, as some shrubs thrive in dry locations and some like wet locations.
Other advice on how to buy shrubs online;
  • Online suppliers often specialize in bare-root plants because of the ease of shipping them. Bare-root is usually the least expensive way to buy deciduous plants, especially roses and fruit trees, and is also a good way to get small plants started.
  • The younger and smaller the plant, the lower the cost, but the longer you'll have to wait for it to become large. See Shrub Growth Size
  • Online garden centers and nurseries offer great selections and good values, and prices are sometimes better than local outlets.
  • You can usually get by with growing plants that are rated hardy one zone colder of your own (one number lower). So if you live in Zone 5, chances are you can grow just about everything that's hardy to Zone 4. And in many cases you can grow a number of plants that are hardy in Zones 3, 2 and 1, as long as they survive the summer heat in your area.
  • You can also grow a number of plants that are rated hardy one zone warmer of your own (one number higher), but protect them during the winter. In fact, you can probably grow plants rated hardy several zones warmer of your own if you grow them in containers and overwinter them indoors.
  • Leave shrubs alone that have been sitting around, particularly in a supermarket or other nontraditional plant outlet. High temperatures, lack of water and artificial or insufficient light may have stressed these shrubs.

Soil Types for Shrubs

Most shrubs will grow in average garden soils, but for them to flourish and grow vigorously they should be planted in a site that is well prepared and has good conditions suited to the characteristics of the shrub you are planting.

Some Shrubs for Certain Soil Types Only
There are some shrubs that will only grow well in particular soil conditions. For example; Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Camellias prefer a lime free or acid soil. This makes them good partners to plant with coniferous evergreens, or underneath coniferous evergreen trees, as these plants drop needles which then decompose turning the ground beneath them acidic. You can duplicate these conditions by using ericaceous compost.

Planting Shrubs
The planting hole should be well dug, twice the diameter of the pot the shrub is in, and 2 to 4 inches deeper, so that a layer of compost can be added mixed with sand if in clay soil. When backfilling around the shrub, mix in some shrub fertilizer or bone meal, as per manufactures recommendations.

Watering Shrubs
The best time to plant shrubs is in the spring or fall (autumn), although many can be planted at anytime providing they are watered well. All plantings must be well watered, and be kept well watered especially when hot and dry. New shrub plantings must not dry out during their fist year.



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