6 Essential Shrub Care Tips for Your Home Garden!

Do you want your plants and shrubs to stay healthy and beautiful? Yes, we do. Whenever we decide to have a home garden, we usually have a lot of thinking to do. For instance, which tree should I plant and how should I trim it? When should I mow the grass and how often should I do that? And many more questions.

A landscape mainly has trees and shrubs. Their beauty, size, shape, foliage, and flowers are some of the most important elements that create an inviting and welcoming space to reside and play.

A landscape consists of countless shrubs. They vary in size from smaller forms to larger tree-like varieties. Among these, some are evergreen shrubs whereas others are deciduous shrubs. While some of these pointers are easy to decode, the factor that confuses us is the maintenance of shrubs. Since shrubs enhance the look of our garden and provide shade, we must pay special attention while maintaining them, which is why it’s important to arm ourselves with proper shrub care tips to increase the life of such home gardens.

Shrub Care Tips: Ways to Maintain Your Shrubs

01. Planting Shrubs

Planting Shrubs

The first tip that we would mention is the planting of shrubs. For that, you will have to do a bit of research to find a shrub that is going to survive the climatic conditions of your area. For this purpose, visit a local nursery and go through the various shrubs available. You might have to choose if the shrub needs sun or shade, whether it can survive in moist or dry weather, wet or dry soil, pruning requirements, and the period of its maturity. 

Before planting the shrub, dig a hole after you decide where you want to plant it. Give it enough space to grow and do not plant it too close to your door or the house. The soil in the hole should be spread evenly and its width should be twice that of the shrub. Fill this hole with the soil that you have dug out with firm hands and make a strong base for the shrub. You can use mulch; compost etc to ensure that there is minimal water runoff. Now, make a circle with the material and water the area using a muzzle regularly.

If you are planning indoor gardening, I am sure you will need these gardening supplies:

02. Pruning Shrubs

Pruning Shrubs

By pruning the shrubs regularly, you can ensure that their shape and size are well maintained. Early pruning allows you to study the branch framework before it gets hidden by foliage. There are numerous tools to achieve this purpose, such as hand shears, hedge shears, or loppers. The choice of your tool would depend on the size and type of shrub.

The best time to prune the shrubs is late winter or early spring when they are preparing to leaf out. Use your tools to trim out the stems or any branches that are going haywire. Cut all the dead stems until you start seeing the fresh ones coming out.

However, if you have a flowering shrub like lilac, you may have to wait to prune it. Do not do that until it fully blooms. Pruning after blooming, allows the new flowers to bloom quickly. On the other hand, hydrangeas need pruning in the early spring for better growth. Deciduous or evergreen shrubs call for pruning in the summer, also mature rose shrubs that are almost two to three years old.

03. Watering the Shrub

Watering the Shrub

The next crucial factor is how to water your shrubs. If it is the first season of shrubs in your garden, water them throughout the week until it starts raining. After watering, lay the nozzle down at a low speed and allow the water to trickle through the roots.

You can easily set a timer for 5-10 minutes to ensure that only the appropriate amount of water goes in. Deep watering helps the roots grow better. In the words of James A. Autry, water given to the top inch of the soil is wasted because it evaporates before the plants can use it. Roots penetrate deep into the moist soil. The plants’ growth depends on a continuous supply of deep water to promote strong, supporting roots.

If your shrubs are in a hedge format, you can use a sprinkler to water only a specific area. For sandy soil, you will have to water frequently, and in the case of clayey soil, you can take gaps in between.

04. Feeding

Providing your plants with plant foods

As mentioned by James A. Autry, before providing your plants with plant foods, you must know when plants need nutrients, how quickly the nutrients become available from the fertilizer you select, and which fertilizer will be most beneficial. You should not administer fertilizers to new shrubs, as doing so can hamper their growth.

Mulch the soil using compost, as it can help retain moisture and provide enough nutrition to the soil. If your shrub has been there for some time, you still must be sensible about using fertilizers. You can also add a layer of mulch or compost around them and prune them to remove any damaged stems they might have. If you still do not see the results, use fertilizer as per the instructions on the sachet.

You can even make compost from your kitchen waste. Here are the steps to making homemade compost:

05. Cold Weather Shrub Care

Burlap covers to protect Plants

Your shrubs may have to face the brunt of bad weather, especially during the winter. Hence, it is important to take care of them before the weather worsens. You must lay down mulch before time, as that provides warmth to the roots. If the weather tends to become extremely cold at your location, you can use burlap covers to protect them. You may skip this step for evergreen shrubs. Keep watering your shrubs until autumn and before the frost starts.

In addition, indoor plant care is a must if you are planning indoor gardening. Here are some of the indoor plant care tips to know about:

06. Mulching


Finally, we will talk about something that has been an integral part of all the points mentioned above. According to ‘Alex X. Niemiera’ (Professor of School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech), 2 to 3-inch deep mulching around the shrub should be enough to keep the weeds away and control the moisture and nutrition required. In addition, it keeps the soil cooler and blocks sunlight, which reduces the growth of weeds. Look for organic mulches like shredded grass clippings, straw, ground corncobs or chipped bark, as they are much more effective in doing this job.

However, be careful about the amount of mulch you put against the roots. Too much mulch or making a mulch volcano may cause the roots to rot, and further problems may ensue. Mulch placement takes care of the equipment like lawn mowers etc.

To learn more about mulching, we have a complete guide, especially for you:


Ultimately, your garden is just like your baby and you would not leave any stone unturned to see that it is growing well. Shrubs in your garden are an element that you can use to increase the beauty of the garden. However, you may permanently damage the shrubs by not maintaining them. By following these shrub care tips, you can ensure that the shrubs stay nourished and green for a longer period. When the same happens, you won’t have to worry much, as the efforts you have put in will take care of it, keeping it healthy and lush.

We hope you enjoyed reading about shrub care tips for your home garden. So, before you take a leave, we have some tips to start an organic kitchen garden. Know about them in brief:

Tips to Start Organic Kitchen Garden in Your Home!

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Author Bio

Garima Bais – I am a blogger writing on topics like parenting, love, life, beauty and travel. Belonging to a country with a deep heritage India I am an eternal optimist and believe that whatever life gives to you should be taken with gratitude. Do let me know your take on my articles in the form of comments.

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