Bareroot plants are dug and packaged when dormant. They may look like a jumble of roots but they're simply in a resting state and will grow once they're planted.
Plant bareroot plants as soon as possible after you get them. Most perennials prefer well-drained soil; soggy soil will lead to rot. If your soil is wet consider planting in raised beds. For Full Sun plants, select a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun per day. Half Sun plants prefer about 2 hours of direct sun or dappled sun all day. Shade plants, like most of our Woodland Wildflowers and Ferns, require moist, rich soil and Half Sun to Full Shade. (In regions with hot, sunny summers plant in Full Shade.)
To prepare for planting, remove and discard the packing material that surrounds the roots. Place the roots in a container of tepid water while you’re preparing the planting hole, or for up to an hour before planting.
For best results, take some time to prepare the planting site. Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 8"; you may want to mix some compost into the planting bed to help improve drainage. You can also add some granular, slow-release fertilizer at this time. However, don't use lawn fertilizer and don't add more than the amount recommended on the package, because this can inhibit flowering.