Step 1: Trial Placement
Stand the plant in its pot in position in the border. Do a visual check—will it have enough room to spread to its mature height and width, or will it be overwhelmed by neighboring plants?
Step 2: Add Organic Matter
Dig in plenty of organic matter, such as garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure, over and beyond the planting area. Dig a planting hole about twice as wide and as deep as the pot or root ball.
Step 3: Tap it Out
Knock the plant out of its pot and gently tease some roots free from the root ball—this encourages them to spread into the surrounding soil, especially if the roots are congested. If you see any dead or damaged roots, trim them off with pruners.
Step 4: Plant Straight Up
Stand the plant in the hole. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface; if needed, remove or add soil to get the level right. Draw soil around the root ball with your fingers to fill in the hole, making sure that the level of the plant doesn’t change.
Step 5: Firm Soil
Use your heel to firm the soil gently around the plant. This removes any air pockets and makes sure that the roots are in contact with the soil. Double-check that the plant hasn’t become lopsided.
Step 6: Post Planting Watering
Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots and eliminate any air pockets. Apply a thick mulch to help keep in the moisture, and water your new plant in dry periods.
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The bold colors and leaves on these perennials will take you from the chill of winter to the sunshine of spring.