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How To Plant A Container Grown Shrub In The Garden

It goes without saying, one of the most enjoyable gardening jobs is putting in new plants - and, these are usually container grown. This simply means that the plant has been grown its entire life in a container. 

It may seem like a simple task, but planting a container grown plant into the ground can be challenging. It's vital the plant is given care and attention to ensure it will thrive. It's about getting them off to a good start...


First, give the container a good water, this will help swell the soil and make it easier to release the root ball from the pot. If you have a small pot, you can leave it soaking in a bucket of water. 

Next, dig the hole - it needs to be at least twice the width of the container and just a little deeper. Remember to use a garden fork to break up the soil in the bottom of the hole. 

Add a layer of compost or manure in the bottom of the hole and give it a water to soften everything. 


Now, you are ready to remove the plant from its pot - grasp the stem firmly and hold the container in the other hand, now tug it free.

If a plastic pot won't release, you can always cut it off with a pair of sharp garden secateurs. 

Next, use your hands to tease out the roots - gently pull them out so they are not clumped together in a pot shape. 

Place the plant in the centre of the hole, aim to have the soil level on the root ball at the same level as the surrounding soil. The plant will struggle if it is planted higher or lower than this level. 

Backfill the hole with soil and use the heel of your shoe to firm everything in. Gently shake the stem to settle the soil around the roots and remove any air pockets.


Water the plant well and add more soil if it is required - you can also apply a mulch to give the plant a good start.

Remember to keep the plant watered if you have any long dry spells, its roots do not run as deep as established plants and it may struggle in dry soil. 


Source: David Domoney