Moving A Shrub

The biggest question we get asked is how to safely move a plant without killing it. Aside from the obvious answer – ask us to come in and do it! – we can offer a few tips on this front. First: you have to pick the right time of year. Late winter or early spring are ideal, though the ground can be too hard and the plants too busy surviving if there’s any snow or frost. In mild weather, though, it should be fine – and make sure you start before the plant really gets into its growing, flowering or fruiting season. You can often google that kind of information for an individual plant if you want to make doubly sure you’re moving it at the right time.

The next thing to do is prepare a new hole for the plant in question. Make sure it’s nice and big, because you need to accommodate not just the plant you can see, but also the root mass hidden below-ground. Don’t plant it too near other shrubs and plants, or you’ll just have to move it again. Make sure you prepare this hole for the new plant: chop up any solid masses in there, add plenty of organic material to give nutrients to the soil, maybe even buy and add some compost to give it a head start.

Now you need to dig up the actual shrub. Leave plenty of room around the stem – the bigger the root mass you can preserve, the happier the plant will be in its new home. You may have to chop through particularly long and thick roots, but try to preserve as much as possible. The best thing to do is get a sheet of something like hessian and wrap it around the root ball. That means you can remove it all in one piece and move some of the soil with the plant too.

As soon as you’ve done that, it’s time to move the plant or shrub. Put it in the new hole, fill up around it with fresh soil, and water it well.

And that’s our secret!

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