Rhododendrons: moving a Rhododendron

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Creeping Jenny, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    I bought a new house and there is a Rhododendron in an awkward spot in the front yard. Does anyone know if they transplant well? Id hate to kill it by moving it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    they can be moved...and now would be the time to do it!

    make sure the new spot is shady enough and will be moist enough for it!!

    any plant will go into a bit of shock when moved...keeping the time it's out of the ground to the shortest amount as is possible will help to limit how severe the shock is. so, you'll want to dig the hole in the new location ahead of time. go down at least 1 1/2 feet and it should be at least 2 feet in diameter. you may have to increase the size after you take the old one up - doing most of the digging beforehand just saves time and keeps the transplantee from being out of the ground for too long.

    if you can remember where the drip line is that's where you want to start digging the bush up...the drip line is the outermost spot where the leaves were last growing season. dig down at the drip line at least a foot and then you can go inwards. you want to get as much of the rootball as you can so that the plant doesn't have to work too hard to re-establish itself. dig all around it (if you can) and then use the shovel to sever the roots directly beneath the bush. use a pitchfork (if you have one) to lift the bush up - if you don't have one, just use the shovel.

    if the rootball is bigger than the hole you prepared, make it bigger. also, loosen the soil at the bottom and sides of the new hole - just use a hand spade and break it up a bit.

    i've been using root-stimulant with my transplants the past few years and haven't lost a single thing since i have been. so, i recommend getting some of that. it's a liquid concentrate and you mix it one tablespoon to a gallon of water. put some of that in the hole and let it soak down, then put the bush in and back fill with soil, lightly pat down and put some more of the stimulant down. let it sit for about half an hour and then give the area a really good soak with plain water.

    the stimulant can be stored for about a week and you can boost with it again in a week (might be 10 days, check the label).

    water the bush every day for the first few weeks - if it rains, obviously, you can skip watering that day :)

    water a little directly on the root ball and then water in a circle at the edge of the root ball (drip line area) so that the roots are forced to stretch out to get to the moisture. after 10 days, just water at the rootball/drip line area with some sporadic watering directly on the root ball if the weather is extremely dry.

    you probably won't see a lot of growth the first couple of years after moving it...i moved one 3 or 4 years ago and it's just starting to really thrive. because of where it was, i wasn't able to get a decent amount of the roots...so the poor thing has really had to work at getting re-established. the larger amount of roots you can get the better for the bush.
     
  3. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    Thanks joclyn! That root stimulant tip is awesome!! I would have never thought of it for a transplant. Your post made me feel quite confident to transplant it!
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i'd never used the stimulant until i moved one of my roses...and almost killed the darn thing. i posted about it and it was suggested to use the stimulant - even though i'd already replanted it...that stuff worked wonders!! i'd seriously shocked the rose - and thought for more than a month that it wouldn't bounce back...it did.

    now i use the stimulant every time i plant something and always, always, when i move an already establishe plant!

    you will do fine moving the bush!! i know it's a little intimidating when you're just starting with things...just follow the steps and it'll take to the new spot very well!!
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The Bottom Line
    • Vitamin B-1, aka thiamine, does not reduce transplant shock or stimulate new root growth on
    plants outside the laboratory
    • A nitrogen fertilizer is adequate for transplanting landscape plants; avoid use of “transplant
    fertilizers” that contain phosphate
    • Healthy plants will synthesize their own thiamine supply
    • Healthy soils contain beneficial microbes that synthesize thiamine as well
    • Difficult-to-transplant species may be aided by application of auxin-containing products in
    addition to nitrogen, but read the label and don’t add unnecessary and potentially harmful
    chemicals (this includes organics!)
    • Adequate soil moisture is crucial for new root growth; be sure to irrigate new transplants
    frequently and use mulch to reduce evaporation

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Vitamin B1.pdf
     

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