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Beginner Gardening Questions: Need assistance establishing new shrubs.

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Forum: Beginner Gardening QuestionsReplies: 8, Views: 48
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GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9153743

This weekend at a local plant sale I bought 2 Loropetalum "Chang's Ruby" and 2 Barberry Thunbergi "Rose Glow".

I have never planted shrubs before so I have a few questions, but first a "history" of the last few days. I planted the Barberry on the front of my house which faces North. One on either end (east and west). Therefore the one on the east side gets full morning sun, but actually gets sun most of the day. The second on the west side gets most of it's sun from about 10 am throughout the day. -- The Loropetalum I planted both side by side on the west end of the house and on the south side.

As we have had NO rain since I planted them this past Sunday I have been watering them once in the morning and once in the evening. They look "ok" when I go out but after I water them they look a bit limp for an hour or so. After that they look somewhat perky again. However, they just don't look right to me... I know that some of my patio and house plants looks a little "off" when they have been transplanted, but as I have mentioned I have never planted shrubs before so I don't know what to expect. One minor exception is I planted a small Fig Tree a couple years ago and it just looked dead for quite a while and then all the sudden it started "working" again.. LOL

Now for the questions:
Am I watering too much?
Are they just trying to adjust to their new homes.
Is there anything I should be doing differently
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9153801

You could be watering too much--you definitely don't want to let them get too dry, but unless you have extremely sandy soil twice a day is likely too much. Check by sticking your finger down a few inches into the soil where the roots are and see how it feels--if it's still really wet then you don't need to water.

Shrubs can suffer from transplant shock just like anything else, and if your weather is warm and they get a fair amount of sun that will make things worse--sometimes it helps if you can rig up some shade for them for a few weeks until they get going a little bit.
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9153812

Thank You. We have started off with a 'hotter than normal" summer. It is already getting up to 95 F most days. -

I will start watering only once a day. I will figure out some way to get them some shade. Maybe I can place a barrell near each one to cut off some of the sun they may get. As they are full sun plants how long do you suggest that I shade them?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9153823

Please do the finger test rather than just backing off to once a day watering--that could still be too much depending on how well your soil drains. The finger test is the best way to figure out the right frequency.

I'd shade them for a few weeks, then start gradually removing the shade and see if that stresses them out. And something to consider next time you have things you want to plant--this is probably the worst time of year to plant shrubs. When the weather is hot sometimes you can do everything right in terms of watering, etc and things still won't make it. Your odds of success will be much better if you plant things in the fall when the weather is cooler. Early in the spring can work too, but it needs to be several months earlier than June for best results. I have a hard time resisting buying plants during the warmer months, but I've found I have much more success with them if I keep them in pots over the summer (in an area that gets some afternoon shade so the roots don't get too hot) and then put them in the ground in the fall rather than trying to plant them right after I buy them.
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 5, 2012
6:41 PM

Post #9153846

That makes sense.. I guess I assumed since the nursery is selling them now that it was the proper time to plant,like when you buy them mail order.. This nursery is local but only opens to the "local public" once a year. Otherwise we have to make our purchases online like everyone else.

I will do the finger test. There is very good drainage. We live on a hillside near to the top, our neighbor actually has the "house ON the hill".

Thank you for your help..
purpleinopp
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2012
10:25 AM

Post #9154637

I know you're not far away, maybe have the sandy conditions I do here, so twice a day may be good. Like ecrane said, it's impossible to say without being there. If there are large trees nearby, grass, those can get the moisture that flows past the new little rootballs of your new shrubs about as fast as you can pour it on. It's so dry here that mature, long-established shrubs are wilting. No matter how deeply I water anything near the giant oak and pecan trees, in 2 days it's completely dry again and I am definitely watering new plants daily.

Something like a lawn chair or little table that can shade at least the roots, especially during the hottest hours until they stop wilting so much, can be very helpful, agreed.
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2012
11:14 AM

Post #9154691

Thanks Opp.. You are not far away at all. :)

We have light sand on top of the ground but as soon as you start digging there is better soil. The Barberis (Barberry) on the east side has some small shrubs near it, and the one on the west side has the same shrubs and a small to medium pecan tree nearby. The Loropetalum has the pecan tree nearby but not too close, and some type of yucca's near as well. They are not the ones that grow tall, just leaves that spread close to the ground and throw tall shoots with flowers..

I'm am giving them some shade... I sure hope it works..If not, I only paid $2.00 per 1 gallon shrub at the amazing sale for the local public that Cottage Farms has once a year.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2012
2:23 PM

Post #9154872

when you do water, water deeply and gently. i put the hose nozzle on shower (you don't want a jet that will disturb the roots) and then i do a slow count...60, 120, depends on the plant and how big it is.
paulrh
Bullhead City, AZ

June 7, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9156405

great question GreenThumbSuker i live in az over 100 every day so i've be shading them from the afternoon sun with a sheet and now i know how to water them so maybe they'll live and all that answered his question thks. paul in az

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