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4 Tips for Newly Planted Shrub Care (and Mistakes to Avoid)

If you’re nervous at all about your caregiver skills, you probably don’t want to start out with a new baby, a new puppy, or even a new pet lizard.

But a new shrub? You’ve got this!

Caring for newly planted shrubs is pretty easy, but a few new shrub care tips will have you confident about your new green family member in no time. We’ll even toss in a couple shrub care mistakes to avoid. 

1. New Shrub Care: They’re Thirsty

Newly planted shrubs need more water than established shrubs. So keep your new shrub well watered – don’t let it dry out completely during its first season.

Water it well at planting time then daily for the first two weeks. Then water every two to three days for the first few weeks.

Sprinkler head watering shrubs

Then, once your shrub is established, remember that too much water can be as harmful as not enough.

Less frequent, deeper watering is better for your established shrubs, encouraging the roots to dive deeper for water.

2. Don’t Forget the Mulch 

Mulch is more magical than it looks. It’s a crucial step in caring for new shrubs here in Idaho Falls and Boise ID. 

Mulch helps the soil around your new shrubs retain moisture, keeps weeds from sprouting, and moderates the soil temperature. Plus, a coating of rich brown mulch just plain looks great. 

Mulch in plant bed

Spread 1-3 inches of the stuff, but don’t pile it too close to the base of your shrub. (More on this shrub care mistake in a minute.) Leave room for it to breathe. 

3. Skip the Fertilizer at First 

It’s tempting to feed your new shrub babies right away, but no need. Not yet.

Fertilizer will encourage your new shrub to put out new growth, and that’s not a priority right away. It should use all its energy to establish strong roots. 

Once your shrub is established, absolutely get it on a fertilizer schedule. Plan to fertilize in spring and fall. 

fertilizer for shrubs

When your shrubs struggle to get the important nutrients they need, they get weak. That makes them more susceptible to damaging insects and diseases.

Regular fertilizing helps them live up to their full, fluffy, flowery potential. 

4. New Shrub Care: Patience, Please

You might not see your new shrub grow much in the first season. Your shrub is spending most of its energy at first growing roots. You’ll see more growth in its second year.

Healthy trees and shrubs in landscape bed

Avoid These Shrub Care Mistakes 

New shrub care is pretty easy, but there are a couple new shrub care mistakes to avoid.

Too Much Mulch

Yes, we love mulch, but not too much.

You may have seen trees and shrubs surrounded with tall piles of mulch that look like volcanoes. That’s bad. 

Too much mulch piled around the base of your shrub traps moisture against the trunk, which can cause rot. 

And when mulch is too deep, it prevents your shrub’s roots from getting the oxygen it needs. 

Too Much Fertilizer  

When caring for newly planted shrubs, we tend to go into mom mode, right? Eat, little babies! Yes, fertilizer is your shrub’s nourishing food, but too much can burn its roots, injuring your shrub.

Flowering shrubs that get more nitrogen-rich fertilizer than they need might actually flower less, not more.

Follow the directions.

Are Your Shrubs Ready for a New Best Friend?

Caring for newly planted shrubs is pretty simple at first. 

Once your new shrubs settle in, they may need treatments for damaging aphids or other insects or diseases.

Treatments for aphids and other damaging insects are available for our Idaho Falls and Boise ID customers who use our full-service lawn care program.

That gives you extra peace of mind — choose an Idaho Falls or Boise professional lawn care service that bundles your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan, plus know your valuable shrubs are protected from damaging bugs.

Fertilizing, weed control, grub control. Done. Shrub protection. Double done.

We’ve got your back.

Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.
Fill out the form on this page. 
Call us at (208) 656-9131.
Or read more about our services.

Then kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard.

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Image Source: sprinkler, mulch

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