Skip to Content

How to Plant New Arrivals

Summer Dreams Pre-Planned Garden: Good preparation in spring leads to beautiful summer displays!
Summer Dreams Pre-Planned Garden: Good preparation in spring leads to beautiful summer displays!

by David Salman, Chief Horticuluralist

It’s already time to prepare your garden for spring planting! With spring right in our midst, you may have some spring maintenance such as pruning, deterring gophers, and fertilizing. That itch to dig in the garden and start planting runs strong. Following are a few pointers to ensure success when you get new plants. When your order arrives, you'll find a 16-page Planting Guide for more details-- included free with every plant order. You can preview the High Country Gardens Planting Guide here.

Hydrate— Check to see if the soil is moist. If a bit dry, set the plants in a tray, water thoroughly, and allow excess water to drain off.

Acclimate— Keep plants in shade for a few days before planting. Place in sun for a brief period the first day and a bit longer on subsequent days.

Digging the Hole— Plants need plenty of room to spread their roots. Make the hole several times wider than the root ball, but no deeper than the existing soil level.

Amend the Soil— Use Planters II to add trace minerals to the soil. Improve soil texture with the addition of good quality compost such as Soil Mender compost. Add Yum Yum Mix to feed the soil around the plant.

Avoid Transplant Shock— To help plants establish roots quicker, we recommend using a root stimulator combination of Saltwater Farm’s SeaCom-PGR and SuperThrive ®. This also prevents transplant shock. Add to water when planting.


When You Receive Your Plants

  • Remove plants from the shipping box. Take the plastic shipping bags and water plants thoroughly, if dry. Your plants are well-rooted and ready to plant
    outside in your garden.
  • For best success, plant perennials immediately after receiving them
  • If you are unable to transplant right away: place the plants outdoors in a spot receiving morning sun only; too much afternoon sun can dry out the plants. Check soil moisture daily, but water thoroughly only when needed. To keep the soil moist but not soggy. Plant no later than 7-10 days after you receive your plants.

We carefully pack your plants to arrive in excellent condition. However, even careful packaging can’t protect against damage as a result of rough, careless
handling. Plants can often recover from a rough trip, as they are very resilient. However, we are committed to your gardening success and are happy to assist you
with any concerns. Please report any damaged plants or problems immediately: Email Us | Live Chat | Call (800) 925-9387

Dormant Plants

We carefully inspect dormant plants before shipping to make sure their roots and crowns are healthy and ready to grow. Most perennial plants go into a state of dormancy, or winter rest, as a result of the cold temperatures and shorter daylight hours of winter; these sleeping plants lose their stems and leaves, and are dormant, not dead! They will re-grow froma healthy root systems with the arrival of spring.

  • You will have best success if you plant dormant plants in your garden right away! Don’t keep them in a pot or up pot them. Your plants will do best if they can “wake up” in the garden (their new home). 
  • After planting, water the plants thoroughly with our recommended root stimulator combination of Saltwater Farm’s SeaCom-PGR and SuperThrive ®. Apply one or two times until new growth begins to show. Dormant plants need less frequent watering than those in active growth; water only as the soil dries. 

Dormant perennials will begin to wake up and grow 2-8 weeks after planting, depending on how quickly the soil warms up. Certain perennials wake up from dormancy much later in spring than others. These include:

  • Asclepias (Milkweed)
  • Ceratostigma (Hardy Plumbago)
  • Chilopsis (Desert Willow)
  • Coreopsis (Tickseed)
  • Echinacea (Coneflowers)
  • Helianthus (Maximilian’s Sunflower)
  • Liatris (Gay Feather)
  • Oenothera (Primrose)
  • Perovskia (Russian Sage)
  • Phemeranthus (Fame Flower)

Recommended Amendments For Healthy Soil