Plants grown in containers have definite advantages over balled and burlapped or bare-root plants. The roots of a container-grown plant remain undisturbed when the plant is put into your garden. There is no cutting of the roots as the plants are taken from the ground, and the plant should start growing immediately. Theoretically, a container-grown plant should survive just as well when planted in June as in December because it does not suffer root shock. No matter when B&B or bare-root shrub is dug, there is going to be some sock because some roots are always damaged. But container-grown plants also have problems which must be overcome.
First, the soil mixture used by nurserymen is very light order to prevent root rot while the plant is growing. This light mixture dries out very quickly, and these plants must be handles carefully by the retailer as as by you when you take them home. Container-grown plant material must be watered thoroughly if it is not to be planted immediately.
Second, the root systems of the plants are extensive and the plants are usually pot-bound. When removing the plant from the container, you must pull these roots away from the ball of earth so that they can start growing into your soil rather than continuing to grow inward into this light mixture.
Third, after planting, this soil mixture has a tendency to dry out very rapidly. Soak the newly planted container-grown shrubs often, especially during periods of dry weather. Keeping the root ball damp is much more difficult with container-grown plants than with bare-root or B&B plants. Here are the basic principles for planting container-grown plants: