You can buy bare roots (dormant plants sold and shipped without soil around their roots), and plant them in late winter in warm climates or early spring in cold climates. If you buy potted plants that have already commenced growing, plant them as you would any garden plant, anytime from spring through early fall.
If bare roots arrive before you prepare the planting hole or the ground thaws, it's important to protect them until you can get them in the ground. As long as the roots stay moist, they'll be fine for a day or two. Open any plastic wrapping around bare roots, and refresh roots in a bucket of water if you will plant them within 12 hours. Otherwise, sprinkle roots with water and leave them wrapped in plastic for a day or two.
If you're looking at a longer period before you plant, it's best to heel them in a bare spot or ground. Stand bare roots up in a bucket, or lay them at a 45-degree angle in a shallow, shaded trench. If the ground is still frozen, plant the roots in a large pot. Either way, cover the roots and top third of the plant with soil, compost, or peat moss. Water as often as necessary to keep the roots moist. Then plant as early as possible to avoid damaging new roots and top growth.
Continued on page 2: Instructions