If you’re blessed with a bright, sunny yard, you’re in luck—many beautiful shrubs love full sun, which is considered 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Evergreen shrubs offer year-round interest, while flowering shrubs attract pollinators and provide food and shelter to wildlife. And all shrubs offer structure and form to your garden so it feels more defined as an outdoor room. Plus, shrubs live for years and years if they have the right conditions, so they’re a great long-term investment for your garden. What’s not to love?
When shopping, read the plant tag or description to check if the shrub will survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). You’ll also want to consider the shrub’s mature size, and plant it where it has space to grow. It might not look like much now in its quart or gallon-sized pot, but you don’t want to create a maintenance nightmare in a few years because it’s crowding other plants or covering up windows.
When it’s time to plant your new shrub, dig a hole about two to three times the size of the root ball. Remove the shrub from its pot or burlap, and rough up the root ball a bit with your gloved hand. Then place it in ground at the same level it was in the container. Replace the soil in the hole and tamp down to remove air pockets, then water well. Finally, add a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches thick (but not right up against the stems, which will invite pests and disease) to help retain moisture and keep down weeds.