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Actaea Planting Instructions

Planting Instructions for Actaea (baneberry, doll's eyes):

Bloom Time:  Late summer and fall Light:  Light sun to full shade
Soil:  Humus-rich, moist but well-drained, woodland type soil Moisture:  Average to dry
Planting Depth:  top of crown 1/2" below soil, mulch 1 to 2" Spacing:  18 to 24"

Upon arrival:  Unpack box and check that you have everything on your packing list. Actaea (baneberry, doll's eyes) prefers to be dry when dormant, so if condensation has formed on the inside of the bag you should open it and let it air out. Plant everything within a few days.

Soil/Location:  Plant your Actaea in light sun to full shade in loose and airy, humus-rich, well-draining soil, woodland type soil. They don't mind being in some light sun but avoid extremely hot areas. Add compost or peat humus to enrich and loosen the soil. Actaea like to have lots of oxygen at their root zones so keep the soil light and airy and don't pack it in after planting.

Moisture:  Actaea (baneberry, doll's eyes) are fairly drought tolerant when established and will wilt to let you know they are dry. If that happens water them deeply and then let the soil dry between watering. In the winter and while dormant they prefer to be on the dry side.

Spacing:  18 to 24"

Depth:  Plant your Actaea (baneberry) with the top of the crown about 1/2" below soil level. Since the new buds sprout at varying depths, some may be planted more or less than others which is just fine so long as no parts of the crown are exposed after planting.

General Instructions:  Enrich your garden with generous amounts of compost or peat humus and mix a couple teaspoons of garden food or bone meal into each planting hole. Plant the roots at the depth listed, then water in once lightly. Your Actaea will start sprouting as soon as the soil warms but likes to stay dry while dormant. Excessive moisture early can cause them to rot, so only water once lightly and then don't give them any extra water until they are completely sprouted and actively growing. Then water them deeply once a week or as needed only if they wilt in summer.

Landscape Uses:  Baneberry is a wonderful native woodland plant that form a mound of airy foliage and has unique fall berries. Plant it with ferns, hostas, bleeding hearts, and hellebores in the shade garden.