Nursery to Garden: Plant Survival Guide

We want you to get your plants home safely and have them thriving in your garden.

Chris’ three pearls of wisdom

1. Don’t cook or wind burn them on the way home.
2. Keep the poor buggers moist.
3. Take ’em straight out of the pot, put them in the ground & don’t tease their roots.

Transporting your plants

It is best to carry your plants in an enclosed vehicle. Ask our staff for sheets of plastic and bags to protect the inside of your car. If you need a hand to pack your plants into the car ask our staff. Once your car is filled with plants, avoid parking it in a sunny position, as your plants will cook. If you do have to park, park in the shade and leave a window down.

Transporting plants in summer in trailers and open utilities can result in severe wind damage. If you are planning to take your new purchase home in the back of a vehicle and you are not experienced at how to do it successfully, please ask our staff for advice prior to loading. It is best to lay your plants down; a small loss of potting mix from the plant pots won’t harm your trees and shrubs. To minimise wind damage drive home at just 60 km per hour.



In summer all of our nursery stock is given a good soak every day and twice on hot days. Do the same to your plants when you get them home. The way to water a plant is to give them a quick water, leave them for ten minutes, then really soak them.

Sun or Shade

If you purchase stock out of a shaded or covered area of the nursery, place it into a shaded or covered position in your garden before planting. Most stock at our nursery is grown and displayed in full sun. All of this stock can be put in full sun until it is planted out.


If you are going to keep your plants in pots for a month or more fertilise with Devotion™ Time Release Fertiliser as per instructions.


Don’t tease our roots!! Teasing roots disrupts the plants ability to draw up moisture this can result in RAPID plant death (1-3 days)

Slide your plants out of their pots supporting the underside of the pot with your hands and place the plant into its hole without disturbing the pot shape of the rootball. Then fill soil around the plant with the soil level of the pot plant being at the same height as the surface level of the garden.

Prior to planting, inspect your soil. The biggest losses of trees in the Melbourne area is due to poor drainage caused by planting into impervious clay and compacted soil. If you are unsure as to how your soil drains, dig a hole and fill it with water from the hose several times. The water should drain within 20-30 minutes. If the hole doesn’t drain you have a potential tree death trap. If you suspect you have a potential wet feet problem, check our wet feet kills article.

If your plant is tall and needs staking, stake it securely. A small Birch or tiny weeping tree may not need a stake. A 6ft Mop Top or a 4ft Standard Rose will need to be secured with a single stake remember to attach the heads to the stake to prevent the head from blowing off in high wind. For an 8ft Elm or Oak you may need two stakes. A 15ft advanced tree in a windy spot may require 3 star pickets and guy ropes. Give your newly potted plants a light sprinkle of Devotion™ Time Release Fertiliser around the top of the rootball. Water the plant in well with several soakings. For rapid establishment, use root starter when watering in your plant. Keep your newly potted plants well watered through the hot part of summer.