Transplanting A Hydrangea Transplanting A Hydrangea

What You'll Need
Garden hose

Home gardeners who want to move a hydrangea plant from one location to another--don't despair. Just follow these few simple and straightforward steps.

Step #1: Transplant After Flowering

If you have hydrangea plants you may wish to move them to another location in the yard either because they have become larger than the current spot can accommodate, because the sun or shade conditions are better in another area or because you want to move it for aesthetic reasons.

Whatever prompts your desire to transplant a hydrangea, it’s best to do so after the plant is finished flowering or has gone dormant for the year. Dormancy means when most of the leaves have fallen off the plant. Depending on the climate zone, transplanting can be best done in late fall, around November, and even into December in the southeastern states. If the ground doesn’t freeze, then transplanting in January or February will work just as well (particularly in western states or the Southwest).

Step #2: Prepare Hole For Planting

Having scouted out the appropriate location for the hydrangea’s new home, dig the hole. It’s best to transplant in an area that receives afternoon shade. This will help the plant become established and keep it healthy during hot summer months. Keep in mind that the hole will need to accommodate a potentially large rootball, so make sure the hole is wide enough but not too deep.

Step #3: Dig Up Existing Hydrangea

To dig up hydrangea plants, make deep cuts with a shovel all around the perimeter of the hydrangea. Carefully loosen the rootball and begin to bring it up to the surface. Removing the entire rootball may be quite difficult, especially for plants older than 3 years. Sometimes the rootball becomes compacted with fibrous roots and can feel like cement when hauled up. It may be necessary to use a pry bar or have help lifting the rootball from the ground.

Step #4:

Transplant the hydrangea in its new spot, being careful to dig the hole as large as required by the size of the rootball. Fill in with more topsoil and amendments such as compost, if needed.

Step #5: Water Deeply

Transplanted hydrangeas need deep watering, but not over-saturation. The best watering method is to use a garden hose, not a sprinkler. Give the plant enough water and then leave it alone until spring.

For the transplanted hydrangea, the first two seasons are critical. Keep plants watered during this time. If leaves begin to wilt but the soil is still moist, simply mist the leaves.

Step #6: Mulch Around Hydrangea

To protect the transplanted hydrangea, apply 3 to 5 inches of mulch around the base of the plant. Do this before watering or after. The mulch will keep the rootball from drying out, especially in wind.

Step #7: Fertilize Twice In Summer

All hydrangeas should be fertilized twice each summer. A slow-release, balanced fertilizer works best--Osmocote, applied under the soil, or a 10-10-10 mix. Use commercial manure for a more organic approach.

That’s all there is to transplanting a hydrangea. That wasn’t too hard, was it?

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