Bare Root Privet

Location: Charlotte, NC

Question: Five weeks ago I planted 60 bare root privet shrubs. I water them regularly and have fertilized them once since planting. All but maybe ten of them have leaves and many of them have sprouted new branches up to 4" long already. My concern is for the ten that have not shown any new growth yet. Should I give up on them and plant some new shrubs before they get left behind or do you think they will start to grow soon? I actually have extra shrubs that I planted out of the way so I can transplant them if any of them don't make it. If I try to transplant a shrub that I just planted 5 weeks ago, will it survive?

Answer: Although it could conceivably be done now if you are extremely careful, in my experience it would be better to wait until fall to transplant any necessary replacements. The reason for this is that the heat of summer will be very stressful on the plants and the more root and the less acclimation they have to go through between now and then, the better. In addition, it is still possible that among those ten laggards are some "late bloomers" that will still leaf out or sprout from the base.

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