How to Plant Shrubs in November


Planting shrubs in November can be an ideal time of year as the wilting heat of summer has passed, the shrubs are going dormant and the cold temperatures and winds of winter are not yet severe. Early November planting works best in cold climates where the ground freezes because shrubs need at least four weeks in the soil before temperatures drop to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to North Dakota State University. In temperate and warm climates, there is no such concern and it is safe to plant all through the month of November.

Step 1

Excavate a planting hole that is twice the diameter of the shrub root ball and roughly half again as deep.

Step 2

Loosen and remove any poor-quality clay, rocky or sandy soil at the bottom of the hole and replace with high-quality topsoil or compost.

Step 3

Slide the shrub from its nursery pot or unwrap its burlap coating. Loosen and redirect outward any roots that are circling or girdling the root ball.

Step 4

Place the shrub gently in the prepared hole and add compost or topsoil under the root ball to bring the top of the root ball level with or just a 1/2 inch above the surrounding soil.

Step 5

Fill in around the root ball with the quality topsoil and/or compost, tamping it down lightly as you fill to close any air pockets.

Step 6

Water the shrub well to drench the root ball and surrounding soil. Thereafter, keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet, watering once a week to every 10 days for roughly a year until the shrub is well established in the new location.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or spade
  • Quality topsoil or compost
  • Organic mulch


  • North Dakota State University: Planting Trees and Shrubs
  • West Virginia University: Planting Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: fall planted shrubs, planting in November, transplanting shrubs

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.