How to Plant Flowering Shrubs


Preparation of the planting bed is key to the success of a flowering shrub. These plants serve as permanent features in the landscape and must have a good soil base to succeed. Flowering shrubs produce blooms during a specific time period each year. Gardeners choose flowering shrubs for the beauty of the flowers and the appealing qualities of the foliage. This two-prong approach to flowering shrub selection ensures that your choices add interest in the landscape throughout the growing season.

Step 1

Select a shrub with compatibility for the planting site. Match the plant to the available sunlight as well as soil conditions. If the site is windy, choose a shrub tolerant of a constant breeze and the resulting dry soil conditions.

Step 2

Cultivate the top layer of soil with a hoe to remove weeds. Pull out loosened plants and dispose of in yard waste bags.

Step 3

Cultivate an area 6 square feet around the planting site to a depth of 18 inches. Cultivation loosens the soil to permit roots to spread as the plant becomes established.

Step 4

Level the surface of the garden using a rake. Add 1/3 volume of compost, peat moss or manure to the planting site. Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of soil amendments across the planting bed. Turn over the garden again using a tiller or shovel to work the amendments deeply into the soil.

Step 5

Dig a hole for the shrub twice as wide as the planting container. Depth should place the top of the shrub root ball at the soil level.

Step 6

Cut away the transplant container with a sharp utility knife. Peel back the plastic pot to expose the shrub roots. Grasp the shrub by the center stem close to the soil level. Lift it free of the container and place it gently on the ground. Direct a medium-strength stream of water at all sides of the root ball to loosen the roots. For burlap-wrapped shrubs, cut and remove the twine and pull back the burlap after placing the plant in the hole.

Step 7

Set the shrub in the planting hole to measure depth. Position the plant so the root ball lies right at the soil surface. Fill in around the roots with enriched soil and firm occasionally to remove air pockets. Continue adding soil until the level reaches the garden surface.

Step 8

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the plant and garden bed. Mulch retains water, protects roots from heat, and eventually breaks down to enrich the soil. Water around the base of the shrub using a light stream of water to allow moisture to trickle deeply into the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Tiller (optional)
  • Compost, peat moss, or manure
  • Rake
  • Utility knife
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose
  • Yard waste bags


  • North Carolina State University: Planting Techniques for Trees and Shrubs
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Shrubs: Function, Planting and Maintenance
Keywords: plant flowering shrubs, planting flowering shrubs, shrub care

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.