You should be ready to plant now. Follow the directions on the plant label, if provided. Use a shovel or hand trowel to dig holes.
Clean-up, mulch, and water when done. The following are general instructions for different types of plants:
Balled and burlapped plants
You should remove the burlap and wire basket (if the plant has one); however, you want to remove it in the hole because otherwise the ball may fall apart before it is placed in the hole. The preferred method is to cut out the bottom of the basket and burlap so it comes out easily after the plant is in.
If the plant is extremely loose in the rootball you should try to remove the wire basket but leave most of the burlap, because trying to get the burlap off may do more harm than good. In this case just roll back the burlap on top of the ball and cut away the excess.
Note: The wire baskets on large balled and burlapped plants can require a hacksaw or heavy duty wire cutters to remove them.
Handle the root ball carefully—never let it drop into the hole. Gently roll it into place.
Sit the plant up straight with the best side of the plant facing the viewer. Then fill around the plant and just cover the roots with soil. Gently pat the soil by hand (never stomp on the root ball to pack it down) and smooth the area around the plant. Build a saucer around the base of the plant to contain and direct water to the plant roots. Water right after planting.
Hint: When planting near a tree you should never chop large roots. An occasional root is OK but never a main root (if you have to get an axe or saw to chop a root then it’s a main root!). Always yield in favor of the tree, because it’s probably big enough to fall on you when it dies. And it can hurt.
Tip: When planting next to your house leave some space between the plant and the house and plan on pruning a small space between the plant and your house—this will allow air to circulate and help keep moisture from causing rot and mildew to form on your house.
Take the plants out of their containers. In most cases they should slip out of the container easily; if not, cut the container off with a good knife or hand pruners.
Knead the roots to loosen them up and place each plant in its hole.
Be sure the plant sits up straight, and plant it just deep enough to cover the roots. Fill around the hole with soil, pat the soil gently, and smooth the area around the plant. Build a saucer around the base of the plant to contain and direct water to the plant roots. Water right after planting.
Bare root plants
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the plant roots. Make a small mound in the bottom of the planting hole. Gently spread the roots over the mound in the hole and sprinkle dirt over them until they are covered.
Fill the hole up to the base of the plant and gently pack the soil with your hand. Build a saucer around the base of the plant to contain and direct water to the plant roots. Water right after planting.
Planting depths and times vary depending on the bulb, so ask the nursery staff for planting instructions or follow instructions on the package, if available.
Read the package—the directions are usually clear and planting methods and depths vary depending on what you are planting.