Posted in: Homeowner tips, Selling a home

How to plant shrubs to beautify your property

Planting shrubs

Ready to learn how to plant shrubs in your yard? Whether you already have an at-home fruit and vegetable garden and a natural green thumb or you’re a true landscaping beginner, shrubs can be a perfect addition to your space.

Bushes and shrubs are incredibly versatile and hardy plants that offer privacy, structure and curb appeal.

To enhance your yard with shrubs, read up on:

  • What is a shrub plant?
  • Why use shrubs?
  • How to prep the soil
  • How to plant shrubs
  • FAQs

How are shrubs classified?

Making gardening or landscaping plans can be overwhelming. However, by learning a few common gardening terms before you head to your local nursery, you can feel more confident as you shop for shrubs and other plants.

  • Annuals: Gardening gurus know that an annual plant completes its entire life cycle in a single growing season. After that year-long cycle is complete, an annual plant will quit blooming.
  • Perennials: A perennial plant will continue to blossom in your yard year after year. To be considered a perennial, the plant must live for more than two years; however, some flowers, like peonies, have been known to continue their growing cycle for upwards of 100 years.

What exactly is a shrub plant?

Shrubs are in their own unique category of perennial plants referred to as “woody perennials,” which means they will continue to grow for more than two years in your yard. There are two primary types of shrubs:

  • Deciduous shrubs lose their leaves in colder months.
  • Evergreen shrubs maintain their leaves or needles throughout the entire year.

Why use shrubs in your landscaping?

Many homeowners are drawn to the versatility and consistency of shrubs. Some benefits of using shrubs in your landscaping include:

  • Shrubs are low-maintenance, requiring only occasional trimming.
  • As woody perennials, shrubs grow year after year.
  • Most shrubs are hardy, withstanding weather and disease.
  • Shrubs offer privacy and structure in outdoor spaces.

Shrubs can also help create great curb appeal for homeowners who are thinking of selling their home in coming months.

How to prepare soil for planting shrubs

After you’ve decided to upgrade your yard with shrubs, it’s necessary to prepare your soil. By prepping your soil, you’ll create a fertile base in which you can successfully grow shrubs and other plants.

Before planting your shrubs, you’ll want to get your soil and yard ready. Begin by:

  • Ensuring proper soil drainage around the planting site, avoiding clay or rocky soil.
  • Aerating your yard to incorporate oxygen, if soil appears compacted.
  • Conducting a soil test to measure pH and identify any nutrient deficiencies.

How to plant shrubs step-by-step

Now that you have a base of optimized soil, it’s time to plant your shrubs! First, you’ll need to gather a few items to assist you in the four-step planting process.


  • Garden hose
  • Trowel
  • Shovel


  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Shrubs

Once your tools and supplies are ready, follow these shrub planting instructions.

1. Choose a site

When planting bushes, choose a site that will support healthy plant growth and look great from the curb or street. Here are some pointers to lead you to the best planting spot:

  • Aim to plant shrubs in full sunlight.
  • Measure your spot so that even at full maturation, the shrub will be three to four feet (or more) from your house or other structures.
  • Map out landscaping desires and plant accordingly.
  • Try to place shrubs out of direct wind.

2. Prepare the site

In addition to soil preparation, you may need to groom the planting site before transferring shrubs into your yard. During the prepping stage, be sure to:

  • Rake leaves and remove any remaining debris.
  • Dig a hole to plant your shrub. The hole should measure equally as deep and twice as wide as the container in which you purchased your shrub.

3. Plant your shrub

Once the site is prepared, you can begin planting. Here’s how to plant a strong shrub with ease:

  • Place the shrub in the hole.
  • Ensure the root ball is even with the soil surface.
  • Rotate the shrub to fit your desired placement.
  • Use your hands to loosen soil and roots of the root ball.
  • Refill the hole using the soil you removed to dig the original hole.
  • Lightly pack the soil while filling to create a firm base.
  • Continue backfilling until the root ball is covered.

4. Water and mulch

To promote growth, make certain that your newly planted shrub gets enough water. Shrubs should be watered consistently, using a hose on a low flow setting. The root ball should be deeply soaked after watering.

Mulch is also essential to shrub health. A layer of shredded bark or similar mulching material can be layered around the shrub to protect the roots. Just be sure to only apply what is necessary, as too much mulch could hinder plant development.

By planting shrubs in mulch, you’ll:

  • Minimize stress on a newly planted shrub.
  • Conserve water to encourage growth.
  • Improve your landscaping and curb appeal.

Find your dream yard with Edina Realty today

Whether you’d like to refresh your current landscaping to increase your property value or buy a new piece of property to landscape, reach out to your agent or the property experts at Edina Realty.

Shrub planting FAQs

Do you still have lingering questions about planting shrubs? Here are answers to some of the most common questions homeowners have when planting shrubs. Additional outdoor home tips can be found on the Edina Realty blog.

What’s the best time to water new shrubs?

It’s necessary to water new shrubs on a weekly basis. For healthy plants, supply five to seven gallons of water to the shrub each week. Water your shrub at a slow trickle from a garden hose for several hours and concentrate the water toward the root ball. Ensure the soil is soaked at the end of each watering session to promote deep root growth.

Should I fertilize my shrubs?

Fertilize shrubs every two to three years to optimize growth. Plants can be fertilized in the late fall or early spring.

What are the best perimeter bushes?

Plant perimeter bushes to add definition to your landscaping and privacy to your yard. Popular shrub options for Minnesota homeowners include:

  • Dogwood
  • Forsythia
  • Ninebark
  • Pearl bush
  • Viburnum

You may consider planting shrubs around trees and other bushy plants to make an even more defined perimeter.

What’s the best time of year to plant a shrub?

Planting times differ depending on local weather conditions. In Minnesota and western Wisconsin, it’s typically best to plant shrubs from early spring until mid-October so they have time to acclimate and develop roots before the ground freezes in the colder months.

Join over {{'43232' | number}} subscribers

Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings