How to Plant Shrubbery


Planting shrubs around your property is a wonderful way to add landscaping features that generally require minimal care and upkeep. Shrubs can screen views, hide walls, make privacy areas and act as a border to separate and divide a garden space. Planting shrubbery is easy, but you'll want to plan well in advance to select the best possible site for a mature-sized shrub, even though what you are planting may be small right now.

Step 1

Select the location for your shrub based on the its sun requirements and mature size. Multiple shrubs will need to be spaced far enough apart that they don't crowd one another once mature.

Step 2

Dig a hole in the fall two times as wide as the root ball of the shrub, and just as deep. Once the hole is dug, use the shovel's edge to roughen up or score the sides and bottom of the hole so it isn't a solid wall of packed soil.

Step 3

Remove the shrub from its pot carefully, or unwrap the root ball from its covering. If the roots are running in a spiral from being in a pot too long, break up the root ball and use a sharp knife to trim any long roots back to the base of the root ball.

Step 4

Set the shrub in the hole and position it so the top of the root ball is approximately an inch above the surface of the ground level. Fill in any remaining space around the shrub with the displaced soil from digging the hole.

Step 5

Spread mulch around the base of the shrub approximately three feet in diameter and two to four inches deep.

Step 6

Water the shrub well to encourage the roots to grow deep, and keep it watered for the first month or so as the plant becomes established. The shrub should go dormant during the winter months and grow fine on its own come spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Shrub (potted, wrapped, or bare root)
  • Sharp knife or pruners
  • One to two cubic feet of mulch per shrub
  • Water


  • "New Complete Guide to Landscaping"; Better Homes and Gardens; 2002
  • Planting shrubs
Keywords: planting shrubbery, planting shrubs, how to plant shrubbery

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.