How to take care of Bare Root Perennials

Bare root Perennials are quite often better to plant in the garden than established plants out of a large container because establish plants are already root bound and can take very long to adapt to the garden. With a bare root perennial, as soon as you plant it and water it, it will begin to develop on its root system and settle right away.

As soon as you receive your plants, inspect them. The roots should look healthy and have no soft fungi spots. They may be a little moist but not soaking wet. A bit of mould on the roots and packing material will not cause problems. However there are some roots that need to be in a dry state when shipped for example bearded Iris roots need to be in a very dry state because they are prone to a lot of mould. (see how to care for Bearded Iris )

It's best to plant upon receipt so it helps to have the beds ready. If you cannot plant right away, you can store plants in a cool dark place for a day or two. Never let plants freeze. Keep the plants inside their packaging, and make sure packing material remains moist.

Remove plants from their packing material, ready for planting and prune away any damaged roots. Soak the roots in water in the shade while you prepare the bed. Most Perennials prefer partial sun and well-drained Soil.

Each packet will have the printing instruction on the back to determine the depth of the planting hole you'll need. If the plant has top growth, you'll be able to see the original Soil line. If there is no top growth, you'll want to set the plant so the crown the top of the roots where the stems will emerge sits at or just below the Soil line.

For best results build a cone of Soil in the bottom of the planting hole. Do not add fertilizer to the planting hole as it may burn new roots. Place the plant in the hole and spread the roots around the cone of Soil. Gently fill in the hole, firming the soil as you go. Leave a slight depression around the plant to hold water. Water the plant, saturating the soil around the plant, so it can begin working on its root system

Always keep your plants watered during their 12 weeks. A weekly deep soaking will encourage a root system. Apply a layer of compost each spring to provide nutrients and maintain soil health. Fertilise each early spring with some organic fertiliser

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