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Planting Bareroot Stock

Dundee Fact Sheets

Planting Bareroot Stock                        Print This Sheet

Clematis

Bareroot plants are dormant plants that are sold without any soil around their roots.

Bareroot stock should be planted immediately after purchase. If this is not possible, store the plants in a moist medium such as peat moss, and keep cool (the refrigerator is ideal).

Remove the damaged roots and broken branches with a sharp pruner. Soak roots in water while you are digging the hole. The roots cannot be allowed to dry out. Make the hole wide and deep enough to easily accommodate the roots. Add improved soil (a mixture of good soil, peat moss, and existing soil) to the bottom of the hole. Spread the roots out on top of this improved soil. The plant should end up at the same depth at which it was previously growing. To determine this, look for a change of color on the bark, just above the roots. Do not bury the graft, unless you are planting hybrid garden roses, in which case the graft should be planted. The graft is a bump on the stem where the top was grafted to the roots. When the plant is in place, sprinkle soil into the hole, working it gently between the roots. When the hole is full, water thoroughly. Gently wiggle the plant to eliminate air pockets. After the water has drained, check for settling.

Prune back the top of hedge plants, grapes, raspberries, gooseberries, and currants about 1/3 to 1/2. Prune back side branches of trees about 1/3. This will keep transplant shock to a minimum. Don’t fertilize at time of planting. Instead, use a root stimulator or fish emulsion. This will encourage the roots to develop before the plant puts increased energy into foliage production.

Keep the plants well watered without being soggy.

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