Things that will increase the chances of a gardener successfully growing shrubs happen even before the shrub is bought. The gardener should know what the climate, soil and light conditions are in the area where the shrub or shrubs will be planted. Native shrubs may be ideal. She should then choose a type of shrub that can thrive in the climate, is long lived and resistant to disease and pests. Also, the shrub should be tidy and not litter the ground around it with fruit or seeds. The gardener should also take into account how large the shrub is going to get over the years. For example, a shrub shouldn’t be planted so close to the home that its branches will rub up against the wall when it’s mature.
Some tips for buying are:
The branches should be symmetrical. They shouldn’t have been pruned because it’s a sign that unhealthy branches have been removed from the shrubs. Flowering shrubs should not have dead buds.
The bark should be healthy looking and shouldn’t look as if it’s been uninjured. If the plant’s dormant, the gardner might scrape away a tiny bit of the bark. If the stem tissue is green, the shrub is probably healthy.
A potted shrub shouldn’t have roots protruding on the surface of the soil. This means that the shrub has been in the pot for too long. If the gardener is allowed to take the plant out of the pot, the roots should be white or tan. Black or brown roots probably mean that the shrub is sick.
A burlapped ball should feel firm in both native shrubs and non-native shrubs. A loose ball probably means that the roots have dried up.
A hole twice the width of the root ball should be dug for shrubs. Flowering shrubs receive the same treatment. The shrubs should be planted to the crown, which is where the stem meets the root. The soil should be firmed down around it, then thoroughly watered. A newly planted shrub, especially an evergreen shrub, will need to be regularly watered to make sure that the roots don’t dry out. Mulch or rotted manure can be layered around the shrub, but it shouldn’t cover the crown. Mulch not only keeps the soil cool in hot weather, but retains moisture, and reminds the gardener to mow carefully around the shrub.