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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

Proper Planting is Paramount

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plant for successHelp your plants put their best root forward. Take the time to plant carefully. Fall or winter is the best time of year to plant. In most years, a newly installed plants survival decreases after March as the weather gets drier and warmer. Set out your plants, still in their pots, where you want them and rearrange for the look you like. Cluster three or more shrubs of the same species for a natural look. General guidelines for plant spacing are 10-15 feet apart for trees, 5-10 feet for shrubs and 1-3 feet apart for groundcovers.
Step-by-step guide:

1. Take the plant out of its pot or burlap to view its root size. Keep the roots wet.
2. Dig a saucer-shaped hole 2-3 times the width of the root mass, and about as deep. Fill hole with water and let drain.
3. Build a mound of soil at the bottom of the hole.
4. Loosen bound roots and gently shake off excess potting soil (not into the planting hole).
5. Gently spread the roots evenly over the soil mound. The roots should not circle in the hole.
6. Place the plant so the root flare (where the roots join the stem) is at the soil surface.
7. Replace soil into the hole so it fills the space between the roots.
8. Water generously and add more soil to fill the hole up to the root flare. Create a soil berm around the planting hole to retain moisture.

Planting plans related to this article: Dry, sunny