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Bare Root Plant Information

Bare Root Plants are shipped in a plastic bag with terra sorb silicone gel that seals in moisture to keep plants with ample moisture. Please check that all the roots you ordered are in the bag. The bare root material should be covered with damp – not wet – peat moss and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to plant them – kept at constant temperature: 34° to 38° F is ideal. Do not allow them to dry out or freeze.


The area you are planting should be free of weeds and other vegetation to minimize competition for water, light, and nutrients. Planting directly into a live, established sod is not recommended. Large clods or clumps of soil should be broken up. Make sure that the soil is in a condition that allows full contact with the Bare Roots, at all points.


Take care not to let the plants dry out or leave them exposed to sun or wind. Dig the hole for a transplant deep enough to accommodate the entire length of the root. Do not bend roots into a hole that is too shallow, as this will retard growth. Place the roots up against the “wall” of soil that is created by the digging of the hole. Position the plant so that the buds are at the proper depth for that root type (refer to the examples shown). Spread the roots out to maximize contact with the soil. This will allow for the rapid establishment by encouraging maximum absorption of water and nutrients. Next, place soil firmly around the roots. Avoid compacting the soil. Compacted soil impedes water and air movement to and from the roots, which can suffocate the plant. Clay soils are particularly prone to compaction, especially if they are worked when wet. Never transplant into wet clay soils. Do not pack soil directly above the buds. This can damage buds and retard emergence.

The “Dormant” Season, when plants do not have leaves, foliage or Blooms is when we ship Bare Root Stock

Below (left) is an example of how our bare root crepe myrtles or any trees will look when we ship them. They will be dormant, without foliage. Plant these trees in cool weather and in the spring (right) here’s a picture of how these trees will look (when planted and cared for properly) the following spring.

Below is a picture of our shrubs shipped bare root

Here is a picture of the shrubs – packaged as they will look when received. The picture to the right is how, if taken care of, they will look the following spring.

The picture below shows berry plants (left) in a dormant stage without leaves, blooms or berries. Plant as soon as you receive them and in the spring they will “green out” and produce (right).

Ground Cover Plants at time of shipment:

On the left is how the ground cover plant will look at shipment. On the right is how they will look the following spring!

Grass plugs at time of shipment:

We do not ship grasses in colder months due to the tops being gone. Also, we will not ship a grass species without being able to identify it, as these are grown in large fields with other species of carex and other grasses, it is best to wait for warmer months when positive identification is possible.

How To Store Bare Root Plants Until Planting Time

Trees & Shrubs (Including Fruit Trees, Berry plants, Native Plants also)

When you receive your trees or shrubs you will need to open them right away and remove the plastic from the entire plants (except the root area).

It is best to plant Bare Root Trees & Shrubs within 1-2 days after receiving them, but there are other methods in case you do not have time for immediate planting. If you have a cool moist area such as a basement or garage, leave the plants standing upright and leave plastic around the root system and water thoroughly a couple times a day (roots only). When you plant, it’s always best to soak the roots, put water in the hole before planting (to add moisture in the deeper part of the soil before planting) and water again after planting. It’s also advised to water each plant the first 4-5 days after it’s planted and they should do well on their own after this. We also recommend using a good fertilizer in the Fall so when the spring comes again, your trees & shrubs will be beautiful and ready to thrive.

Perennials, Ferns & Ground Covers

When we must store perennials, ferns & groundcovers, we maintain a temperature of 38-42 degrees. Some nurseries use this year round and the plants will be fine for long periods of time without planting. This keeps them dormant. Also if your order is a small one and you have a crisper drawer in the bottom section of your refrigerator, place them in their bags in the crisper drawer. This provides an adequate temperature for these types of  plants. If you do not have room for cold storage, put in your basement, garage or cellar and remove from bags. Cover with potting soil and mist lightly with water every couple days until you can plant them.

Wetland Plants & Live Stakes

If you have a pond, lake or large trough, place the roots of the plants in water and they will be fine for several days until planted. Ensure that if using your own container you keep fresh water, do not allow algea to grow or for the water to become stagnant. Change water every few days. When submersed in a pond or lake, nothing is needs to be changed, simply put roots in and the will actually grow while being stored until planted.


Seeds must be put in a dry area or placed in a refrigerator until planted. It is also advisable to check with your local USDA to check ideal storage requirements for a particular seed. Different zones and climates will dictate the best ways to store. 

Perennials at time of shipment

Those on the left are dormant and the right picture is how they will look the following spring when planted and cared for properly.

All our bare root stock is dug fresh to order

We dig our perennials then take them to our shipping warehouse and spray with wilt proof and then dip in terra sorb gel. Both are transparent and you can not see it but when you feel your bulbs, you will know the inside is in superior health being soft, full of moisture, and pliable. We wrap the roots (or place in plastic zip lock bags), for a short shipping period of 3-4 days the plastic seals in the moisture which is further needed for transit and we utilize peat most to aid in moisture retention.

Ferns at time of shipment (left). Following season (right).

Our bare root ferns are shipped just like our perennials. Dug fresh and packed with care to ensure the arrive in excellent condition.



Buying plants “bare root” is the most affordable way to order.

Planting bare root plants, perennials, ferns & trees not only is less expensive to ship, it also enables the customer to buy at a fraction of the expense as containerized plants. We can ship our bare root plants fedex, ups or US mail for much cheaper than if you purchased container trees. You receive the same plants, for a fraction of the price.


We Pack To Protect Your Plants

Every plant we ship is dug fresh a day before shipment. We dig your order, take to the shipping warehouse and dip all roots in a moisture gel called Tera-sorb, and line the roots with paper.  (In warmer months we use straw to keep the plants cool during transit, then wrap in heavy paper and containerize in corrugated pressure protectant cardboard boxes.) We band every box as well as tape to prevent damage during transportation.

What is Tera Sorb?

Terra Sorb is a super absorbent, potassium based co-polymer gel that drastically increases the water holding capacity of soil. It absorbs up to 200 times its weight in water and slowly releases it to nearby plants, perfect for transporting plants.

We take large tubs of Terra-sorb to the fields, dig your plants fresh, dip in terra sorb and take directly to the shipping warehouse and ship out the following day. We do not leave bare root plants in the cooler like alot of other nurseries, we dig our stock fresh and ship it. This insures that your plants will arrive in the best possible condition and will be much more likely to thrive than plants purchased at other nurseries which do not follow these steps.

We pack all plants in terra sorb gel (roots dipped) and lined with moisture rich peat moss. You can purchase bare root stock in the dormant season and have the exact same results? Why pay 90% more for containerized plants?




Fibrous: Lots of perennials come like this: (Hepatica, Shootingstar, Beardtongue, Spiderworts) Many prairie flowers possess fibrous root systems. These are characterized by numerous roots, emanating from the root crown (where the roots meet the buds). Planting depth: The dormant buds should be one inch below the soil surface. If leaves are present, make sure that they extend above the soil line, with the root itself completely in the ground.

Rhizome: Ferns and Very Few Woody Perennials Come Like This:( Prairie Smoke, Irises, Queen of the Prairie, Sunflowers, Solomon’s Plume, Wild Geranium, Ebony Spleenwort, Hayscented Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Ostrich Fern, Bloodroot, Celandine Poppy, Indian Pink, Straw Lily, Bellwort) A rhizome is a modified root that serves the dual function of storing plant food as well as absorbing water and nutrients. Rhizomes also act as agents for the spread of a plant. Planting depth: Plant rhizomes horizontally, one to two inches deep, with buds at or just below the soil surface. Attached feeder roots should be planted down into the soil.

Bulbs: Some perennials and vines arrive like this:(Wild Onions) Bulbs are roots adapted to store nutrients and moisture during periods of plant dormancy. Most bulbs produce offshoots to generate new plants to ensure longevity. Planting depth: Bulbs should be planted so that the white part of the plant is below ground, with any green growth being above the soil.

Taproot: Vines Look Like this on arrival.(Lupine) Taproot plants vines and ground cover look like this. They have one or more strong, main roots that go deep into the soil. This allows them to reach far below the fibrous-rooted plants for moisture and nutrients. Tap-rooted wildflowers like Lupine, coexist well when planted with fibrous-rooted grasses and flowers. Planting depth: The dormant buds should be one inch below the soil surface. If leaves are present, they should extend above the soil surface, with the root itself completely covered.

Corms: Perennials (some) look like this on arrival: (Blazingstars, Jack in the Pulpit, Trilliums) Corms are modified stems that resemble bulbs. The only difference is that bulbs have scales, while corms are solid when cutting in cross-section. Planting depth: Corms should be placed so the top of corm and the buds are two inches below the soil surface. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the roots of the Blazingstars from the buds, making it hard to tell which end is up. The roots are dark and wiry. The buds have a pinkish color and are often obscured by the previous year’s brown-colored old growth.

Do you want to make sure you have healthy plants?


If so, there are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, you are probably thinking about which trees you would like to plant, where you want to put them, and what you want your landscape as a whole to look like. If you are looking for a nursery, make sure you read a few Online Plant Nursery reviews before deciding who to choose. Then, think about these factors to ensure you have healthy plants.

Pick the Right Location

First, you must pick the correct location. Make sure you choose a tree that is meant for your area. Think about the Zone in which you are located. Then, make sure you choose a location with plenty of suns and a lot of space for the tree to grow its entire canopy. Next, when you dig, make sure you are not digging too close to utility lines or powerlines, as you could damage surrounding structures. Lastly, do not plant a tree too deep in the ground. Otherwise, it will not get enough oxygen.

Water the Tree Properly

What’s the tree is planted, you need to water it regularly. If it has not rained in a few weeks, you should take a look at your tree. In general, a healthy, mature tree will require approximately 1 inch of water every week. If you have recently planted the tree, you need to provide 5 to 10 gallons of water every week during the first growing season. That way, it can develop a healthy root structure. Keep track of how often it is raining. You may need to provide your tree with some supplemental water.


When trees are located in a forest, natural plants feed on the soil in the surrounding area. When we take care of our yards, we break them regularly, removing many natural nutrients. Examples include leaves and grass clippings. Therefore, you have to replace these missing nutrients by providing fertilizer. Try to select a slow-release fertilizer. That way, your tree has a steady flow of nutrients entering its root structure.

Furthermore, test your soil every once in a while. See if any elements are missing. That way, you can replace them and protect the health of your tree.


Finally, you should also make sure you choose the right nursery. That is why reading reviews is so critical.