Last updated on August 1st, 2019
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There are a handful of times when you might want to move your hydrangea–a process called “transplanting”–over its lifespan. The best time to do it is autumn and winter.
Moving hydrangeas after propagation
The first time you would try transplanting hydrangeas would be when you have cuttings which you are propagating and now need to move into the garden, we recommend transplanting only when the roots have fully established and nearly filled the pot to give it the best change. For this, transplanting steps are similar to when you move your hydrangea, but on a smaller scale:
- Start by digging a hole in your garden slightly bigger than the root and soil ball you have been propagating.
- Slightly loosen the knot and place the mass into the soil, covering it with more soil.
- Once it is covered, water it adequately to moisten the soil.
Can you dig up and move a hydrangea?
Yes. If you decide that your plant needs to be moved because it simply isn’t doing well in the area of your garden where it was initially planted, or you just want to place it elsewhere to get a better regular view, it’s not hard to dig up and move the plant as long as it not to large.
The best time to transplant an already established hydrangea is after the bush has gone dormant in the autumn. So this means after the flowers have all died off and the leaves have dropped. If you live in a cooler climate November is the best time of year simply because the bush is now dormant but the ground is not frozen. If you live in a warmer climate where your ground never freezes over you can wait until December through February to transplant. These are certainly the best times of year to move your hydrangea bushes but as long as you don’t do it right in the middle of the heat of Summer you can theoretically move in anytime during the year and it will kill the plant.
- When you are transplanting your hydrangea the first step is to dig your hole at the new location. There’s going to be a lot of digging and you don’t want to uproot your existing hydrangea before you prepare the new hole otherwise your hydrangea will be left exposed to the elements sitting and waiting for hours.
- Make sure to pick a new location which has shade during the afternoon. This is particularly important if you are transplanting a hydrangea because it wasn’t doing well in its original location.
- If your plant is rather large and has established itself for many seasons, it is recommended that you prune it back a little bit before you move it, it may well be worth cutting it back hard and losing next years flowers as it will take better as the root ball won’t have as much foliage and stems to support while it gets rooted again in spring.
- When you’re ready it’s time to dig up the hydrangea bush. Drive your garden shovel straight down into the ground and make a circle around the bush in order to free up the root ball. The root balls can get very large so if you have a mature hydrangea you may need someone else to help you lift the plant out of the ground.
- Once you have uprooted the hydrangea it’s time to place it into the new home and fill the surrounding area with soil. Be sure to thoroughly
soakedthe root ball as you are feeling the area with new soil so that it remains moist.
- If you have relocated your plant in the fall or the winter you probably won’t have to water it again until spring. If you have instead transplanted during the spring or early summer you will need to water your bush frequently, more so than you normally do so that the roots can get established in the new environment. Note that transplanting in early summer is risky.
- Place a couple of inches of compost on top of the soil so that the plant has all of the nutrients it needs to re-establish itself come springtime.
- When Spring knocks at your door be sure to water the hydrangea frequently throughout the subsequent growing season so that it gets established. If you have a dry winter then water in winter too when needded.