How to Buy, Plant, and Grow Bare Root Perennials in Your Garden
By: Julie Day
Spring may not quite be here yet, but the garden centers are starting to tempt us with those wonderful displays of bare root perennials and bulbs. I’m always drawn in by the gorgeous photos on the labels – all that promise, in what looks like just a bag of dirt!
Bare root perennials are a budget-friendly way to get started on your spring planting, and with a little care they’ll deliver as promised. Here’s what you need to know about how to select, plant, and care for bare root perennials in your garden.
About Bare Root Perennials
Bare-root plants are dug from the field during late winter. The dormant roots are then shaken free of dirt and packaged in a damp, lightweight material (such as wood shavings). The plants are kept in cold storage until they’re moved to the garden center or shipped to your home from a mail order or online company.
The idea is to plant bare root perennials in early spring while they’re still dormant, so they can naturally “wake up” in their new homes.
How to Choose Healthy Bare Root Perennials
The bare, dormant roots don’t look like much in the package, but here are some tips for getting the best quality:
- Buy Moist Plants: The package should be lightly moist, but not soaked and not completely dried out.
Bare Root Perennial Planting Tips
- Pruning: As your plants grow, pinch back leggy stems to encourage branching.