May 17, 2023

The care you give your landscaping in the first year, and particularly in the first few weeks, is what will determine their long term success. After your landscape plants have been installed, they will need to adjust to their new home. Each type of plant has its own preference for temperature, moisture, light, and food, so it’s important to look up your individual plants to make sure you know what your plants need.

Full flower bed of blooming flowers.

Watering Trees and Shrubs

Newly planted trees and shrubs require more frequent watering than established trees and shrubs. Basically, it’s important to make sure that these new plantings are well watered for the first few weeks, especially if the weather is hot and dry. Trees and shrubs will be watered at planting time, and then on the following schedule:

  • The first 1-2 weeks after planting, water daily.
  • During weeks 3-12, water every two to three days.
  • After 12 weeks, water weekly until roots are established.

Although watering is crucial in hot and dry weather, plants still need watering in cool and cold weather. Until the ground is truly frozen, trees and shrubs will need deep watering each week. Watering late into fall, early in the spring, and throughout the growing season for the first couple of years is important for larger plants to develop a healthy root system.

Watering Perennials and Annuals

Newly planted perennials and annuals will need to be monitored depending on the weather and your irrigation system. Generally, newly planted perennials and annuals will need an early morning or later evening watering a couple of days a week. Rain is typically not enough for new plantings. It’s important to check the soil and root balls a few inches down to monitor the roots. Under watering (where only the topsoil or mulch is wet) or overwatering (leaving pools of standing water or soggy soil) can be damaging.

Caring for Perennials and Annuals

If you stay on top of deadheading flowers early in the season, you will signal the plants to keep producing blooms. Feeding is not usually recommended for the first year.

Monitor Plants Consistently

Catching issues early on is the key to remedying them. Keep a close watch on all new plantings for any signs of stress, which may include:

  • Wilting
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Leaf burn


Newly planted areas are susceptible to weed spikes. Frequent irrigation, turned over soil that may have unearthed dormant weed seeds, and gaps between new plantings make a great environment for weeds to thrive. Be vigilant in pulling weeds when the plants are young, as the weeds will compete for the water and nutrients the new plants need. Hand weeding is recommended over herbicides, and it is important to pull the weeds roots and all to avoid regrowth.


New plantings should always be mulched. Mulch can help suppress the weeds, keep the soil cool, and prevent water loss. In the winter, mulch can help insulate the new roots. While a good layer of mulch is important, over-mulching can lead to rot, so it’s important to keep mulch away from the trunks and stems and make sure the amount of mulch stays consistent.

Every plant is different, so it’s important to look up each of your plant’s preferences to ensure that you are providing the right care, especially during the first year. With proper care after installation, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape for many years. If you’re ready to add some new plants to your landscape this year, contact Twin Oaks Landscape to learn more about our landscape maintenance and installation services.