You must also make sure that the eventual size of the
plant and its roots will be suitable for your chosen spot. This is particularly
important for trees; they should never be planted too near buildings because of
the spread of their roots.
Timing is also important. Autumn and spring are
usually the best times to plant out, depending on the plant and the condition
of the soil. Spring is best if you have heavy soil that could become
waterlogged during the winter, and for less hardy and evergreen plants. All
tender annuals must not be planted out until after the last frost. Basic
planting rules apply to everything:
The hole must be large enough to
accommodate the roots comfortably.
The plant should be surrounded by
a mixture of compost and soil. You want a reasonably rich mixture to help the
plant settle in but not so rich that the roots will not spread out into the
soil beyond. If you make the mixture too rich the roots will stay within it and
simply grow around in circles. This can be a particular problem in heavy soils
that the roots may find hard to penetrate.
The plant must be fixed gently but
firmly into the soil.
Plenty of water should be given
before and after planting; this applies to everything, even drought-tolerant
The planting techniques are the same as for shrubs except as follows.
Mix plenty of well-rotted manure
and bone meal at the base of the hole.
Position the plant so that the
joint where the rootstock starts is 2.5 cm/1 in below the surface of the
After planting, prune back to two
or three buds per stem. This may seem vicious but it will encourage more
The soil at the base of walls tends to be dry so
position the plants 30-45 cm/12-18 in away. Plant as for shrubs. After
planting, untie the stems and gently spread them out and train them in the
correct directions. Remove all the ties and add new ones, using soft green
twine, which will allow for growth.
Clematis should be planted 8 cm/3 in below the level
of the soil to encourage strong shoots that will be better able to withstand
the potentially fatal problem of clematis wilt.