Rhododendrons: Can you move mature rhodies?

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Angel3167, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Angel3167

    Angel3167 Member

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    I have about 4 large rhodies in the front of my house and they block the view of my front yard. Now that my kids are getting a little older I am sure they will go out there at some point and I would like to be able to see them.
    So the question is, can I move them? Will they die if I try? They don't look happy where they are anyways. What is the best type of site to move them too (i.e. sun etc.) We have a fair amount of clay, is there anything we should do to try and amend the soil?
    They are beautiful when they are in bloom but there location is kind of annoying since they're getting so big. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Slice around them and drag to better spots. Tight, fibrous shallow roots make rhododendrons easy to move. If wanting to plant in different soil dump suitable mix on top of existing ground and plant in that, so that same soil is found throughout entire potential rooting area. Do not plant in amended planting holes with different soil around the holes.

    Mulch after planting and keep watered.
     
  3. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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  4. Angel3167

    Angel3167 Member

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    HOLY GEEZ!!!
    Let's just say my rhodies are MUCH smaller. I shall show my husband so he'll have no reason to complain lol.
     
  5. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    I love this story. A truly magnificent specimen has been saved, rather than chopped down.
    One question though: When did that transplanting take place and has it already survived one growing season thereafter? I notice, that you hale from Ontario and this monumental task did take place in Atlantic Canada. Are you aware of the final outcome?
     
  6. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron, why not plant with amended soil in the hole? Do rhodo roots refuse to move across soil gradients?
     
  7. methylgrace

    methylgrace Member

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    Oh, thank god, only a 7' root-ball for a 12' shrub. We took out some large rhodies, but weren't trying to save them. Now we have a 8 foot rhodie, already limbed up that needs to be just moved. I'll go out and root-prune it now (early october), and then we'll try moving it as soon as the hole is prepared. a 5' diameter ball should be sufficient. I like the information provided in the link that suggested only 18" deep and ~25% wider hole would be sufficient.
     
  8. Katalina25

    Katalina25 New Member

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    The link you gave,

    That planting hole would take all my front garden lolol

    http://www.atlanticrhodo.org/kiosk/features/move/maxset.html

    I only ever had one Rhoi and when I dug it up its base was brown and little or no root growth. Its the same with dwarfs too...no much root...don't know why or if this is normal. Maybe my clay soil.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The web page mentions where the plant is and when it can be seen flowering; it also says the move was done in 1999, over 10 years ago. So one can deduce it has been successful.

    More because the change in soil gradient can act as a water pump, making the soil on one side wet, and dry on the other. So the root ball either dries out completely, or drowns, depending on which way the 'pump' acts.
     

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