Cut the tops back about 2/3 and try to dig out as far as the original spread
and roll it out of the hole. It's shallow rooted and you won't need much of a
ball of dirt if you get those surface roots. Replant at the same depth and
water once a week, or lees if the ground stays moist. Within 2 years they
will most likely be back up to the same size. I have some I moved 3 years ago
that are huge already, and I cut them back to a foot!
I've moved six & eight foot rhodies from spots where they'd been in the
ground for decades. Sometimes the roots are surprisingly shallow & they
pop right out of the ground after slicing a big circle around the
dripline. The first time I ever moved such a shrub, it was rooted so
shallowly, it came out of the ground like a pancake. "Moving rhodies is
easy!" I enthused -- but hooboy, since then, others have contradicted the
idea that rhodies & azaleas always have such shallow roots.
I spent hours "undermining" one big rhody & could not find the lowest
roots even when the hole was a three-foot deep trench all around the
shrub. In frustration I finally sawed the roots short, & even at that the
rootball was so big it took four people grunting & crabbing at each other
to get it down a stone stairway & lift it to a flatbed. I brought it home
for my garden, considerably banged up from its ordeal, but I minimally
pruned it to a pleasing shape & it began producing new limbs & leaves
right out of the bark of the broken or pruned bits. I've babied it because
of the sawed-off roots, but it has never shown the least sign of stress &
is just doing superbly. I was just asked to go remove three more big ones
-- & I'm kind of dreading it for fear the roots will be big deep ones
again. My partner's art show at a cafe opens this weekend & that has me
too busy right now, but sometime in the coming week or I'll have to start
I've moved other sorts of shrubs in the past & it stressed some of them
horridly, most were slow to bounce back, a couple died, but never these
rhodies, they seem to get through being moved barely noticing it happened.
-paghat the ratgirl
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
"......... I think one is way to large to transplant (I would need a crane
to lift it) .........."
With a beauty like that I would give it a go, shorten the top back well then
try to split the clump into 3 or 4 bits,
When replanting mix peat (Peatmoss) into the soil water well after planting
and stand back.
Current advice I get from the local experts is to only use the soil that came
from the dug hole. Adding anything to the soil will cause the roots to stay
in the softer soil and not send feeders out into the native soil.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.