We have a plant but are not ready to put it in its final location. How do we keep it alive until we are ready? Temporary hole? Keep in sun or shade?
The chokecherry can be grown as trees or kept in a container as a shrub. It is a hardy plant that likes full or part sun and tolerates most soil types. It is somewhat drought tolerant, but prefers regular watering.
You don’t mention when you plan to plant the chokecherry. It’s now the end of June. If this will be in the next few weeks, then keeping it in its original container should be fine, as long as it is not allowed to dry out – if the roots dry out, that would be the end of the plant. It’s best to keep it in a sunny location, and water it regularly as the soil in pots tends to dry out quickly.
If you plan to plant the chokecherry in the fall, you could still keep it in a container, but it’s best to move it to one that’s larger than the nursery pot that it came in. This is because trees/shrubs that remain in their original containers too long might become root-bound, which can impair growth and in extreme cases, could kill the plant. You might want to add compost or fertilizer to the container to ensure it is receiving adequate nutrients while it’s waiting for its forever spot. Make sure that the container drains well – you don’t want to drown the roots.
Alternatively, you could plant the chokecherry in a temporary hole, in a sunny spot. The hole should be at least as deep as the plant’s rootball and somewhat wider. When transplanting it to its permanent location, dig a hole that is the same depth and at least twice the width of the rootball.
All the best growing your lovely chokecherry!
June 28 2023