Last week I explained about bare root hedging and this week, as promised, I am going to explain how best to plant it.

First thing to remember is that obviously because the roots are bare there is no soil around them to offer protection and therefore the roots can be quite delicate and should not be left in the boot of your car or in the garage for a few weeks until you get round to planting them – you want to carry this satisfying task out on the same day you receive the plants.

It is even a good idea to get your planting site prepared in advance to speed things up (especially as it might be raining by the time you get them!)

Some people dig individual holes to put each root in, however I find it easier to dig a trench – usually about 25cm wide and the same deep along the length I want the hedge to go. I think digging a trench gives the roots plenty of room to establish themselves. Next you want to build a mound of soil along the bottom of the trench to support the root system.

When you take delivery of the plants submerge the bottom of the plants into a bucket of tepid water (not freezing cold anyway) and cut off any dead ends you may see.

Once hydrated, plant the roots about 20cm apart in your mound then cover with the soil you dug out previously. I would recommend you add some fresh compost and some bonemeal to this soil, and hold your plant in place whilst covering it over. Pack the soil in tightly but carefully the give the entire area a good watering!

Job done!

Happy gardening!


Leucothoe Axillaris ‘Curly Red’ is an evergreen shrub. This plant is easy to grow and is very hardy. It’s very good for borders or in pots and is very easily trimmed to keep compact. It is known for its unique twisty leaves that change colour throughout the year. The leaves are a glossy green in the summer time but when the cold weather comes in the winter the leaves change to red giving your garden some colour for the winter!

Colin has been working in the gardening industry for over 30 years and owns 7 Garden Centres across central Scotland and is passionate about Scottish plants.