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Planting a Potted Perennial

When your perennials arrive, open the box immediately, check the plants and water them if the soil is dry. Depending on the type of plant and the time of year, some of your potted plants may have green growth, some may not. Don't worry if you don't see any leaves; that just means the plant is dormant. The roots are healthy and ready to grow in your garden. Visit How Our Plants are Shipped for information and photos of our plants.

Plant as soon as you possible. If you must wait, keep your perennials where they get some sun through a window, and keep soil moist but not soggy.

Watch our 'How to Plant Potted Perennials' Video:


Step-by-Step Planting Instructions

planting sketch


Loosen soil in the planting bed, then dig a hole as deep and a little wider than the pot. Most perennials should be planted at the same depth as they are in their containers.

sketch of removing plant from pot


Carefully remove the plant from its pot by holding one hand over the soil and tapping the bottom of the pot. Squeezing the pot can help loosen the root ball from the pot. Don't pull on the plant or you may damage the stem.

planting sketch


Place the root ball into the planting hole, doublechecking to be sure that the top of the root ball is even with the soil surface. Then backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it as you go.

planting sketch


Water the soil thoroughly, then apply a 2" deep layer of mulch around the plant to help maintain soil moisture and control weeds. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the plant stem to prevent rot.


  • After loosening the soil in the planting bed, mix in some compost.
  • When you remove the plant from the pot, inspect the roots. If they've completely filled the pot or are beginning to circle the bottom of the pot, gently loosen or unwind them to encourage them to venture into the surrounding soil.
  • Continue to water the new plant weekly if nature doesn't provide soaking rains. Even drought-tolerant plants need to be watered weekly until their roots get established.
  • Fertilize plants monthly until late summer.