How to Grow Shrubbery


Shrubbery has many uses in landscaping a yard. A hedge provides privacy or clear marking of boundaries. Shrubs close to the foundation soften the appearance of masonery or other utilitarian building materials while making excellent use of runoff water. Shrubs can provide a focal point or define an area, even growing tall enough to screen and shade a patio. Whatever shrubs you choose, some basic planning and planting principles apply.

Step 1

Test the soil where shrubs will be planted to be certain they have the best possible growing conditions.

Step 2

Dig into the soil any amendments recommended by the soil test. Dig holes for shrubs that are at least twice the depth and circumference of the root ball to allow the roots to spread out.

Step 3

Soak bare-root shrubs in water for about two hours before planting. Remove or loosen any material wrapped around the root balls; even biodegradable materials can make it harder for young shrubs to get established.

Step 4

Dampen the soil of all wrapped root balls. Fill the planting holes with water and let them drain.

Step 5

Plant the shrubs. Tamp down dirt hard all around the roots with your foot to force air pockets from the soil. Water the shrubs again.

Step 6

Give the shrubs 1 inch of water twice a week until they are established. Reduce watering to once a week after one month. Watch for new growth and monitor the leaves for withering or browning, which are signs of drying-out distress.

Step 7

Incorporate regular pruning of shrubbery into the yard-care. Feed the plants a fertilizer specifically for your chosen variety. Follow the fertilizer's label directions for dosage and application frequency.

Tips and Warnings

  • Take prompt action when diseased or damaged areas on shrubs are evident. Because of their woody branches, problems visible on leaves, blooms or twigs may signal problems that have already established themselves. The stems of annuals make problems quickly visible; woody stems are slower to transmit information.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Shrubs
  • Shovel
  • Soil amendments


  • Colorado State Extension: Native Shrubs
  • View from My Garden!: Shrubbery and Trees That Are Drought-Resistant
  • University of Illinois Extension: Beautiful Flowering Shrubs for Shade

Who Can Help

  • Clamson University Extension: Planting Shrubs Correctly
Keywords: how to grow, shrubbery, plans and precautions

About this Author

Janet Beal holds a Harvard B.A. in English and a College of New Rochelle M.S in early childhood education. She has worked as a college textbook editor, HUD employee, caterer, and teacher. She is pleased to be part of Demand Studios' exciting community of writers and readers.