Planting instructions

  • Water your new plant well while it is still in its pot. It is best to actually submerge it in water for about 10 minutes.

  • Dig a hole that is at least 11⁄2 times the depth, and twice the width of the pot that the plant is in.

  • Using a garden fork, loosen the sides and bottom of the hole you have dug.

  • Mix a suitable fertilizer into the soil you have dug out of the hole (the ‘spoil’), or add some rich organic matter to it (such as well rotted horse manure or compost from your compost bin).

  • Put some of this mix back into the hole, until you have the base of the hole at the height required. To check that the base is the correct level, place the plant, still in its pot, into the hole. It will be right when the compost level in the pot matches the soil level around the hole.

  • Sprinkle some Rootgrow (mycorrhizal fungi, endorsed by the RHS) into the bottom of the planting hole to support the developing root system.

  • Remove the plant from the pot by squeezing the sides and firmly tapping the base of the pot.

  • If the roots are congested (“pot bound”) then tease some of them out with your fingers.

  • Carefully place the well-watered plant into the centre of the hole, ensuring its roots are in contact with the Rootgrow granules.

  • Fill in round the sides of the rootball with more of the soil mix and push this down firmly with your fingers to ensure there are no air pockets.

  • Once the soil is level around the plant, gently firm it with your hands or feet and water the whole area well. 


When planting a tree or large shrub, ensure you stake it with the correct height stake to support it during the first 18 months to 2 years until it has developed a deep and strong root system of its own.


Ensure all new plants are watered regularly (including during dry winters) for the first year at least. Water generously every few days, rather than a daily sprinkle. A bucket every 4 days is a guide for large trees and shrubs.