Potted nursery stock has been potted from healthy, bareroot, field-grown material. Because it may not have completely filled the pot with new roots yet, this plant material needs additional attention at planting time. Follow the simple steps below to ensure successful planting.
1. Handle the plant only by grasping the pot, never by lifting on the plant itself.
2. Correct planting depth is essential. Dig a hole equal in depth to the height of the soil in the pot. The hole should be at least 8” wider than the top diameter of the pot. Keep the sides of the hole straight. If you are digging in heavy clay soil, you will notice that the sides of the hole have a sheen to them. Scar this with your shovel so that the roots can penetrate that glazing, otherwise, you will end up planting your plant in a “clay pot”.
3. Using a sharp knife or linoleum cutter, cut the bottom of the pot away. Start in one of the drain holes and slowly turn the pot until the bottom is free. Leaving the bottom behind, have two people support the pot from underneath and carefully lower it in to the hole. If the pot is too large to handle in this fashion, cut the bottom of the pot away with the container already in the hole and carefully slide it out.
4. Firmly grasp the pot (don’t lift up) and rotate it to the middle of the hole, aligning the plant into its final planting position.
5. Using a mixture of 1/4 peat moss and 3/4 native soil, fill the hole to ground level, leaving access on one side to a drain hole at the bottom edge of the pot. Insert your knife into this drain hole and carefully slit up the side wall of the pot.
6. Complete the backfill process. Do not tamp down the soil.
7. Gently, with a slight shaking motion, slide the pot sides up and out of the hole.
8. Backfill as needed to bring the soil up to ground level. Tamp down gently.
9. Thoroughly water. Use root stimulator liquid fertilizer at this point.
10. Additional soil may be necessary if any settling occurs after watering.
Click Planting Potted Stock Fact Sheet for a printable version of this page.
The printable page of this Fact Sheet is a .pdf file that you can browse or print. You will need the Adobe reader to access this file. It's available free at www.adobe.com