Transplanting Shrubs

This basic guide to transplanting shrubs will show you how to transplant and also tell you when to transplant shrubs.

transplanting shrubs

Moving shrubs and transplanting them to a new area of your garden allows for many planting possibilities without the cost of buying new plants.

Reasons for transplanting a shrub vary from re-designing the landscape to improving the health of the plant by moving it to a better location.

Another reason for transplanting is because the shrub, or nearby plants, have grown too large and have become over-crowded.

Or you are moving to a new home and want to take the shrub with you.

At the bottom of this page there is a video to watch that is very informative. It’s a great video actually.

When To Transplant Shrubs

The best time to transplant shrubs is when the weather is mild and plants will not be exposed to temperature extremes.

Early autumn to late spring are the best times for transplanting shrubs.

Preparing Shrubs For Transplanting

1.About a month before transplanting, trim roots (root pruning) of shrub by cutting around the perimeter to one shovel depth.

2. A few days before the move, thoroughly soak the plant’s base so the soil will be easy to dig and roots will be moist.

3. If you are transplanting evergreens, spray with an anti-stress solution to prevent moisture loss and trauma.

How To Transplant

Transplanting is a simple job that only requires a few steps, but success depends on good planning, timing and care.

Choose a new site that has the proper sun and soil conditions and also allows enough room for root growth and foilage to grow.

If the move is far, wrap the rootball snuggly in hessian, and use a gentle spray of water to keep the root ball and hessian moist until you can plant it.

Transplanting Tips

If the shrub has trailing branches, secure them to the main stem loosely with twine to prevent damage when transplanting.

To hold soil together, on larger root balls, wrap hessian around the outside and secure with rope. Remove this when plant is in new hole.

Transplanting Shrubs Step by Step

1. Prepare new location by digging a hole wider and slightly deeper than the root ball and loosen the soil on the sides and the bottom of the hole. This will make it easy for the feeder roots to start growing.

2. Prune shrub lightly. Dig a trench around the the shrub as deep as roots go. Using your shovel, slice down and under the root ball to free it so it can be lifted.

3. Keep as much of the soil intact as you can while lifting the root ball out with the shovel. You will need two people to lift out large shrubs.

4. Replant immediately in the new hole setting the shrub at the same depth. Use a mixture of bagged, composted manure and garden soil to fill in around the plant in the hole. Prune stems to compensate for root loss.

After Care
For Transplanted Shrubs

To keep the plant from drying out, soak the soil rather than surface watering. This will encourage stronger, deeper roots.

Water during cooler times of the day and apply a seaweed solution to reduce transplant shock.

A 2-3 inch layer of mulch will slow dowm water loss and help keep the roots moist.

Several weeks after transplanting your shrub, you should begin to see new growth on the foilage, unless plants are dormant or semi-dormant. This signals success and ensures that new roots have taken hold.

Apply a complete liquid fertilizer a few weeks after new growth has begun.

Weather Tips

In windy areas, tall shrubs may need support while the roots are growing.

Postion stakes outside of the root ball and tie loosely to the trunk or stemss using soft plastic ties.

Make sure the foilage will not rub against the stakes.

Remove support after the growing season is over, unless you area suffers from strong winter storms.

Watch This Transplant Video

Seasonal Tips
For Transplanting Shrubs

Early Spring is an ideal time to transplant shrubs, as long as they are not in bloom or about to bloom.

Early Autumn. Only transplant in the fall if plants will have time to establish roots before the ground gets too cold. Always delay digging after rains, as the soil will be soggy and difficult to handle.

Winter. You should only be transplanting shrubs if the ground isn’t too cold and the plants are dormant or semi-dormant. Root loss is less critical when plants aren’t actively growing.

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