At Heeman’s, we’re committed to your gardening success. Our relationship starts when you purchase your plants but continues into the garden. That’s why we stand behind our shrubs and rose with our guarantee. We want you to succeed with the plants your purchase from us. We’ve created our Top 10 Tips for growing a healthy shrub that will preform for years.

  1. Your new shrub should be planted as soon as possible. If it cannot be planted immediately, keep it in a shaded area and water it daily. Do not let it dry out.
  2. When choosing a site for your new shrub, remember its mature size and light requirements (sun or shade).
  3. Dig a hole 2 times larger than the container of your shrub and loosen the surrounding soil, including the bottom of the hole. Add to the bottom of the hole, approximately 2” of a ½ and ½ mixture of the existing soil with topsoil, a 3-in-1 garden blend or garden compost.
  4. Water your shrub in the pot before removing it. If the roots are overgrown or pot bound, carefully cut the side of the pot and peel off, without damaging the roots.
  5. Once out of the pot, let your plant sit in a pail of water for 5-10 minutes. Do not disturb the roots.
  6. Set your shrub in the hole so the top of the root ball is even, or slightly above surrounding soil level. Compact the soil around your shrub leaving a depression around the trunk for water. Water thoroughly after planting.
  7. Grow healthy shrubsAt this stage, the roots of your new shrub are in a ball or the shape of the container. Therefore they are unable to draw water from deep in the soil. Your newly planted shrub must be watered as often as they need it. The amount of watering will depend on the weather conditions, type of soil – whether heavy clay or sandy loam and/or the variety of your shrub. Check that the soil at the base of the plant is moist and not saturated or dried out. It can take 30 days or more for your shrub to get established and grow stronger roots. You should pay close attention to the watering needs of your new shrub for the remainder of the season.
  8. Apply organic mulch, such as garden compost, shredded disease-free leaves or bark chips, to a depth of 3-4” and a few centimetres from the trunk. This will help the soil to retain moisture.
  9. Apply fertilizer. An easy way to fertilize shrub beds is to broadcast dry fertilizer over the surface of the soil and then water the area thoroughly. You can also use slow-release granular and coated fertilizers for shrubs.
    • Do not apply high rates of nitrogen (the first number in fertilizer) during July and August because this may stimulate leaf growth & new branches that will not harden-off properly, causing winter injury. Spring is the best time to fertilize shrubs, just before the shoot buds open.
  10. Avoid winter damage! Shrubs need water even in the winter. This is especially true for conifers and broad leaf evergreens, such as rhododendrons and azaleas. Before the ground freezes or up until mid-November soak the soil around the shrub thoroughly. Watering at this time of year ensures your shrub will not dehydrate over the winter.