How to Install a Shrub


Shrubs come in a number of varieties to fit in all types of landscapes. You can grow shrubs that produce beautiful foliage all year long or shrubs that generate flowers or fruits. Shrubs often are used to create walls, borders or frames around property boundaries, sidewalks, driveways, structures and gardens, or as a focal point in your landscape. Installing shrubs requires careful planning to ensure you provide the proper growing conditions. Select shrubs ideal for your location for best results.

Step 1

Select a location to plant your shrub that provides full sun and well-draining soil. Allow enough space around the shrub for the expected mature height and width.

Step 2

Clear the area selected of all foliage, rocks, branches and debris. Dig a hole two to five times wider than the container holding the shrub, and the same depth.

Step 3

Remove the shrub from the container and examine the roots. Loosen or untangle roots, if needed, and cut away any damaged or broken roots.

Step 4

Place the shrub in the hole, spreading out the root ball. Check the height of the shrub and adjust if needed, until it is at the same height previously planted.

Step 5

Carefully backfill the hole around the shrub's roots about halfway with the removed soil. Fill the hole with water to settle the soil around the roots. Finish filling the hole, and soak with water again.

Step 6

Use the remaining soil to create an earthen dam (watering ring) 4 to 6 inches high in the drip zone of the transplanted shrub. Fill the ring with five to seven gallons of water weekly, or allow a garden hose to slowly water for several hours every week for at least the first growing season.

Step 7

Cover the area surrounding the transplanted shrub with several inches of mulch. Keep the mulch away from the trunk, and extend it out as far as the canopy. Replace annually as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Knife
  • Pruning shears
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • Purdue University: Planting & Transplanting Landscape Trees and Shrubs
  • North Carolina University: Planting Techniques for Trees and Shrubs
  • University of Minnesota: Planting and Transplanting Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • West Virginia University: Planting Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: grow shrubs, plant shrub, transplanted shrub

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.