Planting Shrubs

Anonymous added on September 9, 2015 | Answered

My husband and I live in a very rural area and will be building a house very close to where we are currently living. The house will hopefully be completed sometime in the spring. My question is that I've already bought a few shrubs that I have found clearanced at Lowe's and Home depot for our future landscaping. Maybe it's a mistake to buy them right now but it's hard not to buy plants that are 50 or more percent off their original pricing as we prepare to build. That said, I would like to know what the best way to preserve them would be as fall and winter will be arriving. I currently have a few of them left in their original nursery containers and a few I've placed in pots. I bought Camellias, Hydrangeas, Azaleas, and Otto Lukyen Laurels. Would it be OK to leave the plants I've planted in pots (1 camellia, 2 hydrangeas) over the fall and winter? Also, what is my best route for the ones I still have in their nursery containers? Would it hurt them if I left them in thier original containers, planted the whole containers in the ground and then cover with dirt and mulch, or should I take them out of the containers, plant them in the ground and transplant them when we are ready to landscape at the new house in the spring? I know this is a complicated question but I would appreciate any advice and info.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 10, 2015

Yes, you can leave the camellia and hydrangea in pots for overwintering, either bringing them indoors before the first frost or you may leave them out in your area with an adequate covering around the entire pot. You may also sink them in the ground and cover with mulch until spring. This is ok for the other shrubs as well, provided those containers allow ample room for roots (not root bound) and good drainage. If you prefer to take them out of the pots and plant them in the ground (all of them) for holding until spring, this too would work. Again, just give them a good covering of mulch for added protection during winter and transplant after all threat of frost is over in spring.

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