How to Plant Bare Root and Root Ball Plants

An easy, stress-free step by step guide on how to plant bare root and root ball plants. 

Step 1: Preparing and storing bare root or root ball plants

When you receive your delivery, be sure to check that the roots are still ‘damp’. Bare root plants don’t like to dry out – so if your plants feel a little dry, moisten them by dunking the roots in a bucket of water for approx. 10 seconds.

Whilst we strongly advise you plant straight away for best results - If you’re not going to ‘transplant’ your plants straight away you will want to store them in a cool, dry place – preferably where they are safe from the elements (no sun or wind!). Be sure to keep a check on the root moisture levels – and remoisten as and when needed.

On the day of planting, you’ll want to have a bucket of water ready – as you’ll want to dunk the roots in again, before planting – during planting the roots should be drenched in water

Step 2: Prepare the planting area

Ideally do this before you receive your bare root or root ball plants – but consider any weed treatments for the area – and do this at least 1-2 weeks before planting.

Depending on the size of your plants, will depend on the size you’ll need for planting. But a general rule of thumb is to dig a hole that is several inches wider and deeper than the roots.

 Bare root guide

Step 3: Planting and ‘Firming’

Once you’ve popped the damp bare root plant into the soil, you’ll want to ‘mound up’ the soil in the centre of the hole and put the roots on top – evenly spreading across the roots. Adjust the planting depth as required to ensure that when the entire hole is filled the ‘crown’ of the plant is flush, or just slightly under the soil’s surface. Remember to be ‘firm’ with the soil, this will ensure the plant is well packed in. Be sure to give it a good watering and you’re done.

women planting

Step 4: After care

As with all plants, some care is required to ensure they establish, grow and thrive. Mostly you’ll want to ensure weeds don’t wreak havoc and that your plant has enough water. Watering levels will depend on how much rain but in a dry spring you’re looking at watering every few days – at each watering, give the ground a soak – this will ensure it stays moist


Not sure which bare-root or root-ball plants to choose? Read the guide on the best bare-root and root-ball plants. OR you can shop our full range of bare-root and root-ball plants here.