I ordered the following plants in bare root form. I don't think I will be able
to get them in the ground for a couple of weeks because the ground and weather
is still quite cold and very windy. How long can I keep the plants before
planting them? Will they die if I just leave them in their packages?
Monarda, buddleja, clematis, peony and echinacea.
You haven't said where you are, but if the ground can be worked, you can plant
the species you mentioned. If you need to keep them indoors for a few days (no
more than a week), open the box slightly to allow some air in but not enough to
dry the plants out (there should be some moist medium around the roots), and
keep the box in a dark, very cool place. The idea is to keep the plants
relatively dormant until they can get the resources they'll need to grow. If
you've ordered from a reputable grower, they'll have provided written
instructions for this somewhere in (or taped to) the packaging.
If you can't get to planting them in their summer locations in a few days, you
should do something called 'heeling in.' Unwrap the plants and plunge them
into a bucket of tepid water for an hour or so. Meanwhile, dig a shallow (but
well-draining) trench in a very sheltered shady spot in the garden, lay the
plants down with their roots in the trench and crown/stem area diagonal to the
soil. (You can put the plants together in a much smaller space than they'll
need for their permanent locations.) Water the trench and completely cover the
roots with loose soil (don't pack it down). Make sure the plants stay moist.
This will hold them for a while, but don't leave them longer than absolutely
necessary. Again, there should be instructions with plants when they arrive.
nNJ usa z7
Thank you for your replies. I live in zone 7 in California at 4100 feet on the
southern tip of the Sierra Nevadas. We usually get one or two more snow storms
before or on Mother's day. The weather was warmer today, so I took the risk and
planted all the bare roots and plants. They did not come with instructions, so
I had to read up on them in my gardening books. Our local nurseryman told me to
wait until the middle of May to plant, but I decided not to heed his warnings!
The peonies already have buds on them; however, the roots (which are big),
seemed to have been trimmed off. As a result, I cannot figure out which way is
up. I planted with the buds closest to the surface pointing up, making sure the
buds are about an inch underground. I hope this is right. All the other roots
are also of good quality. I was clueless about planting the clematis roots, but
treated it the same way as the peonies. Ditto the echinacea root.
I made a mistake in my first post; the buddleja and monarda are actually whole
plants, and so I just stuck them in the ground in amended well-drained soil. I
hope the bare roots and plants will survive the next two winter storms. Will
mulching help to protect them from freezing?
Whenever I acquire bare root plants in the spring that I don't want to lose,
I find it pays to plant them in gallon containers using quality potting soil
and keep them in an area that is above freezing. I did this with a bare root
Buddleia Bicolor and a Sixteen Candles Clethera that I received in early
March this year. I kept the pots on cement on the south side of the house
during the day and hauled them into garage when a frost/freeze threatened. I
planted both of them in their permanent location today, and both had
well-developed root systems.
Last year I ordered a couple of bare root honeyberries on sale ($20) and
received two very small plants that looked like twigs. I potted them in
gallon containers and added slow release fertilizer to the potting medium. I
kept these in the containers all summer, lavishing TLC throughout the
summer. They grew very little throughout the summer but did develop a good
root system. In the fall I planted them in a well prepared permanent
location and was rewarded by both surviving and not only surviving but
tripling in size this spring. One even bloomed.
Yes, it's a bit of work to take care of container plants, but it's difficult
not to take care of a plant when it's put in a spot where one notices its
condition or stumbles over it daily. :) BTW, I've never lost a bare root
plant when I initially planted it in a container.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.