Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

How To Plant Shrubs In Clay Soil? Planting Shrubs In Clay Soil. When you plant shrubs in your garden.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

In or backyard then it is not completed just by digging a hole in the ground and putting the shrub into it. It can be a bit unsuitable for your shrubs. Some of them may not tolerate your hasty temperament as a little care from your side can be beneficial for your plants and shrubs.

While planning shrubs you will have to take care of certain things. Like when and where to plant them, preparing the soil, and the maintenance of shrubs after planting them. The information provided in this write-up can help you in taking care of all these aspects.

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For the successful establishment of the plant and the best growth of the roots. Fall is considered the appropriate time to plant shrubs in some areas like South Carolina.

The structure of most of the ornamental shrubs and plants above the ground level stops growing. Become inactive from the fall to the winter season. But, the soil does not get chilled so their roots continue to grow.

So the roots of the shrubs planted in the fall continue to grow. By using the carbohydrate generated by them during the fall season. The grown-up roots of the shrubs can easily get the necessary nutrients.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

It is also necessary to provide the right amount of moisture to the shrubs during the period of their establishment. But you will have to be more careful about monitoring.

The moisture in the soil if shrubs are planted in the dry and hot seasons of spring and summer. As the risk of deficiency of moisture can increase during this period.

When shrubs are planted in the spring and summer seasons. Then they will have fewer roots to get an adequate amount of water and nutrients from the soil.


After selecting the right season to plant shrubs, your next step should be to prepare the soil for this purpose. To prepare the soil you will have to take a few important steps like testing the soil and improving the nutrients in it.

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You should get the soil in your garden tested to know the levels of nutrients and pH in it. The results of the soil testing will help you to know how much fertilizer is to be added.

Amendments to adjust the pH level are necessary to be done. You should get your soil tested a few weeks before say 2-3 months before planning to plant shrubs in it.

The reason behind it is that an effective change of pH in the soil may take that much time. if the level of acidity is high in the soil then you will have toad some lime to raise the pH level of the soil.

But if the level of pH is too high then you may have to add some sulfur or aluminum sulfate to it to lower its pH level. So to adjust the pH level of the soil it is necessary to get your soil tested otherwise it will be difficult for you to meet its nutritional requirements.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs

After testing the soil of your garden you will have to add some organic matter. Improving the physical character of the soil like its water-holding capability and nutritional level.

However, you should not add too much organic matter to the soil as it can adversely affect the structure of the soil. As well as unbalance its chemistry which can be harmful to the growth of the plants and shrubs.

You should add organic matter to the soil according to the type of shrubs you want to plant in it. However, it has been suggested by the researchers that it is better to add organic matter to the hole after planting the shrub in it.

It can dramatically change the structure of the soil in the hole as compared to that of the soil surrounding it. The roots of the shrub remain in the hole in which they were planted due to this dramatic change in the structure of its soil.

If the soil has clay in abundance them a shovel can be used to cut the sides of the planting hole. Dig into the soil for planting the shrub to glaze them like a terracotta pot so that the roots grow in the plant can spread into the soil surrounding it.

However, you should not add organic matter to more than 10-20% of the total volume of the soil. For instance, you should not add more than 1-2 inches of organic matter to the surface of the shrub bed if you are preparing 8” deep beds for this purpose.

If the soil has heavily compacted clay then before adding organic matter. You will have to till it deeply or subsoil it to relieve its compaction.


After preparing the soil by adding organic matter to it. You will have to prepare beds to plant shrubs to provide a uniform environment for their roots to grow.

While preparing beds for shrubs you will have to choose the right location. You should elevate the beds by 8-12inches if the location is suitable but drainage is not proper. You can purchase topsoil or use native soil for this purpose.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs.

The top layer of the soil can be known as topsoil. The top layer of native soil containing a limited amount of organic matter can be added to it for this purpose.

The small particles of organic matter in the topsoil may not significantly affect the structure of the soil in your shrub bed.

Moreover, you should plant shrubs high so that water can remain away from their roots. To allow them to get enough amount of oxygen required by them. To keep the water off the site you can also use a drainage system made of subsurface tiles, if necessary.

You should scrape the soil for making the planting bed smooth.

Removing spots where water can accumulate while shaping the shrub beds finally. You should prepare shrub beds away from the building of your house to ensure proper drainage of water.

As some shrubs may tolerate the accumulation of water for a long time and some not.

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If you are preparing shrub beds near a new construction then you must remove the leftover debris from the site. As your shrubs may not grow properly in the presence of roofing shingles, concrete, paint, oil spills, tar, etc.

The compaction of soil due to constant heavy foot traffic. Heavy equipment can also cause problems for the growth of your shrubs.

After preparing the soil for planting shrubs. You will have to prepare the root balls of the shrub plants before planting them in your soil. The information provided hereunder can help you in this regard.


Shrubs for plantation are normally available in containers, bare-root, or balled in burlap. So before planting them into the soil you have prepared. You will have to inspect their root balls and prepare them for planting in your garden.


Shrubs are grown in containers made of plastic, wood, or any other biodegradable materials in some nurseries. Before planting these shrubs in your garden you should inspect the roots in the containers to remove their defective parts.

The topmost roots of the shrubs get defected or flared up when they are buried deep. While replanting them in the pot from a plastic container in the nurseries.

So to find these defects in the balls of the roots and topmost of the root of the shrubs. It is necessary to inspect them thoroughly before planting them in the ground.

When shrubs are planted deeply in the container. Then due to stress or during normal development certain unplanned roots grow up which can obstruct the normal growth of the shrubs.

So, you must remove such adventitious roots before planting them into the soil.

It is believed that most of the roots of a plant grow around the trunk uniformly. Readily extend outwards instead of going downwards into the soil.

So such roots should be removed while planting them in the pot. Otherwise, they will grow sideways in search of soil or inside the pot to surround the ball of roots.

Such overcrowded root balls cannot grow properly. According to the experts. So, before planting the root ball into your soil you should remove such roots after removing it from the container.

So, before planting the shrubs are grown in containers.

You should always inspect their root balls to correct them by removing their defects. The roots surrounding the ball of roots can, later on, grow to girdle around the trunk of the shrub.

They are not removed while planting it. Your plant cannot get enough nutrition and water from the soil required for its proper growth. Due to these roots.

A spade shovel or serrated knife can be used to shear off 1-2 inches of the outer surface. The ball of the root is grown in containers to remove these surrounding roots.

You can also use a sharper pruner to cut the roots growing outside the ball of roots by hand. These cuts will allow the new roots to grow when you plant them into your soil.

Another method is to prepare the ball of roots of the shrubs grown in containers.

You should wash away the mix used while potting them so that you can closely examine the ball of roots. It will help you to prune defective roots like kinked and circle the ball of roots easily by using a hand pruner.

Though it may need some experience still you can try to increase the chances for better and proper growth of the shrubs. However, you should plant the shrubs with washed roots in the fall season to ensure their proper establishment in your soil.


The shrubs grown in the field and dug by machines or hands come in this category. The root balls of these shrubs wrapped in burlap are tied with straps or put in a basket or nails can also be used to keep them safe.

These plants should be dug at the proper time to prepare them for planting in your garden. To reduce the stress of digging and to harden the roots properly.

It is necessary to prune the roots of B-n-B shrub plants. Such plants do not face problems like circling roots. Unlike shrubs grown in containers but you will have to remove root flare from dug and B-B shrub plants before planting them.

To prepare B-n-B plants you should remove the burlap from the shrub’s trunk. And soil from the roots to find the topmost roots and root flare before planting them in the hole dug in your soil.

While planting these shrubs you should keep their taproots slightly above the soil. To determine the depth of the ball of roots. Your planting hole you should measure the height of the ball of roots from its topmost roots to its bottom.

You can remove all of the straps, and burlaps from the root once you set it in your planting hole. They can adversely affect the growth of your shrub if you leave all these materials on the ball of roots.


The shrubs that grow in the fields have bare roots if the soil from their roots is washed away while digging out from the field. These roots may rarely have problems. L

ike root flare and circling roots as you can see them easily while purchasing them. So, you need not prepare them before planting them in the hole on the ground.


To plant the ball of the root of a shrub you should first of all dig a hole. People usually dig the hole carelessly without keeping the type of root ball in their mind. You should dig the holes exactly according to the size of the ball of the root.

Ideally, this hole should be double in depth and width to the size of the ball of the root. You want to plant instead of just equal to its diameter. The main reason behind digging a wider and deeper hole is to use the space for filling.

Soil and compost after placing the ball of roots. You should keep the mixture aerated and loose so that the roots can easily enter it. It will be difficult for the roots to extend. And establish if the hole is dug just as per the root ball’s size as its walls will hinder its growth.

So you must dig the holes double the size of the ball of the root both in-depth and width.

Now before putting the ball of root in the hole. You must fill the underside of the planting hole with the mixture of compost and soil so that it can surround the ball of the root.

The hole’s base should be filled with a layer of the mixture of soil and compost. In equal proportions or the mixture of soil and peat moss in an equal ratio.

If the quality of the soil dug out from the hole is good then it can be used for this purpose. But if it contains stones, sand and rocks then you should not use it.

After spreading the layer of compost and soil mixture on the floor of the planting hole. You can put the ball of the root of the shrub you have already prepared for this purpose.

The root ball should be placed exactly in the middle of the planting hole. The topmost root of the ball of roots should be kept a bit above ground level. Surrounding the hole so that there should not be depression after backfilling the hole to allow the water to collect over it.


Backfilling is the process to fill in soil and compost around the ball of the root. The materials used for backfilling should include unmodified and loosened soil removed from the hole dug for planting a shrub.

But if you have to modify the entire bed for planting shrubs then native soil can be used for backfilling the plantation holes.

You should break the lumps of soil before backfilling it into the planting hole. As it will help in creating large air pockets around the ball of root otherwise it can obstruct the growth and establishment of the roots.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs

The topmost root of the ball of the root should be kept slightly above the ground level around it while placing it into the hole. Now, backfill the compost and soil mixture around the ball.

And pack it slightly instead of packing it hard to solidify it. You should backfill the mixture of compost and soil in layers and pack each layer gently before spreading the next layer.

After backfilling the ball of root you should add some water to the hols to settle down the soil and cover the roots closely. But while backfilling you should keep in mind that its root flare should be visible.

You should not cover it with excess soil.

To remove large air pockets in the soil you can add modified soil to the planting hole and firm it.

If the root ball is planted in a sloppy bed. Then on the lower side of the planting hole, the planting soil should be raised to the root ball top.



On the planted shrub beds you should apply a 2-3 inch thick layer of organic natural mulch. It should be kept 2-3 inches away from the stem or trunk of the shrub.

The chances of rotting of the stem can increase if you pile up mulch against it. Mulch is used to retain moisture in the soil, and prevent weeds. Improve organic content in the soil, and moderate the temperature of the soil.

It can also reduce the erosion of the soil raised around the plants above the level of the surrounding surface. Usually, pine bark, pine needles, wood chips, hardwood bark, and some of the ground leaves are used as organic mulch.


After planting root balls it is necessary to apply water properly for the survival of the shrub planted. Water should be applied slowly and properly. After covering the surrounding soil and the plants with a layer of 2-3 inches of mulch.

Initially, the water should be applied directly to the ball of roots because its roots have not spread into the soil surrounding it. If too much or too little water is applied after planting the balls of the root.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs

They can die after some time. Plants in poorly drained soil may get excessive water and on well-drained soil can be deprived of adequate water.

To maintain a consistent and even level of moisture for a few months after replanting. For the root balls you must be familiar with the ecology of the plantation site.

Potting Soil For Trees And Shrubs

All the areas may not need an equal amount of water for the survival of the plants as some may dry faster than other areas. You can quickly and easily establish your shrub plants by watering them properly by using proper practices in this regard.

It can make your plants resistant to pests, diseases, and drought.


To ensure the health of newly planted shrubs in the long run. You must maintain them properly. For the initial establishment of plants, it is necessary to use the right techniques while planting them and irritating them.

Thus, the information provided n this write-up can help you not only in preparing the soil for planting shrubs. But also in planting them properly and allowing them to grow properly in the future.