Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 times as wide. * First, it is best to stimulate a tight root ball by root pruning the plants to be moved about a year before moving. Anyone who spots rhododendrons in wild locations can easily see that these plants grow in shallow, well-draining soils. If a shrub must be transported by vehicle to another location, then the cloth or tarp can protect … Holy Smokes. Continue filling the holes, gently firming the soil. One of the most important considerations when planting rhododendron is the need to have heath and well drained soil. She has written professionally for six years since then. What's great about these flowers is that sometimes even during the cold, winter months, their leaves will stay green! Layering is possibly the simplest way of propagating this plant but be prepared for it to take quite some time. Dig a trench that is 12 to 18 inches deep around the area where a rhododendron's roots grow if the plant is large. Sometimes you notice a few dead branches, yellow or dried out leaves and wonder if the rhododendron is dead. People have been known to cut the top off wild rhododendrons before moving and the plants have come back with superior shape. Then undercut the plant to form a cone, removing the soil an inch or so at a time, moving all around the plant, until you begin to see that you are removing roots. By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. One can then lever up one side of the rootball with 2x4’s, slide a tarp under, lever the other side Once that is done pop your rhododendron in the hole - the key thing to rhododendrons is they don't like to be planted too deep as they are surface rooting and don't like to be drowned by compost. You did a fantastic job! Rhododendrons are a members of a very diverse, large group of plants. Compost or decomposed pine bark are very effective. Prune just above the growth joints using hand-held pruning shears. Step 1 Make sure that the rhododendron is in the right location. Be sure not to plant too deeply and water it thoroughly after … I am printing this advice. The shallow root system can't take in all the water it may need to survive and a drought can spell disaster. Glad to see you trashed the hot tub. 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Evergreen azaleas and large leaved rhododendrons have shallow fibrous root systems and should be dug with as large a root ball as possible. Don't worry about digging deep into the soil since most azalea & rhododendron roots are near the surface. If possible, then get a square of burlap under the plant. The space is gorgeous and really well done. Dig the plant, preserving a root ball as wide as can be safely moved. The hapless pruner tries in vain. If you want to propagate it so you'll have more plants, you can do so through a process called layering. Typically, a rhododendron grows wide and shallow. Rhododendrons look best when grown in groupings to create block colours. This can be a quick way to kill a rhododendron with love! Is there any chance that it will survive being dug up, out of the ground for a week or more and then replanted? Prune back to limbs with the lower whirls of leaves. 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol. come in many forms, colors and sizes, making them suitable as specimen plants, or for use in borders or mass plantings. Rhododendron species (but not hybrids) can be raised from wild collected or hand pollinated seed . Spread each root ball as much as you can. I'm confident that you'll have it back in top shape soon. Use safe lifting techniques. How to Dig up Tree Roots: 12 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow Dig your new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub. (sadly, curves are more work - next house) cascio.offsite@gmail.com. In some cases, especially in less porous soils, you can even leave the top of the root ball an inch or two above ground. ME. Add soil amendments to the soil in the holes if necessary. Just plant your rhododendron by itself in the middle of the yard, or in an open field where it will receive the full blast of the dry arctic winds which we have in good measure from November to March. Did you ask your realtor how much you have increased the resale value of your house, better alert your insurance agent to add a bit more to your policy. I could not have asked for a more comprehensive answer. The very safest approach is to dig a trench up to 12 inches deep, around the dripline of the plant. You can lift it onto a tarp and then use the tarp to drag the plant to its new location rather than picking it up. Make the trench smaller if the rhododendron is small. Tilt one root ball on its side, and wrap a piece of burlap or plastic around it. I live just outside of Philadelphia and we are a couple months away from any frost. According to the American Rhododendron Society, rhododendrons prefer a light soil with good drainage. You could make it really bright with a variety of chair colors or peaceful with matching chair colors. Layering. Keep the plant watered and in the shade until it is ready to be planted in its new position. I have never had a client who had a flood, specifically but earthquake, fire and FEMA covered damage from nearby fires and I will say this, as far as property goes, I have been impressed every time with what was included. The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor. It isn't terribly tall -- probably five feet. This can include anything as small as a single leaf or as large as an entire branch. 0. The roots run wide and shallow. Dig your hole wide, but no deeper than the height of the root ball so that the root ball is at the surface once covered. Follow us. I removed one larger one but am keeping another on the side. Also don't pile on the mulch as the lower branches don't want to be covered over. Step 1 Prune away any dying tissue. Such kits are available at nurseries. Dig a 5-foot-diameter circle around the rhododendron. It may take up to two years before your plant is ready to be potted up. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. I am very pleased to hear that this is a good time to be moving the rhododendren. Use a transplanting shovel to slice through any roots around and beneath the root ball. Rhododendrons and azaleas have dormant buds beneath the bark which sprout to form new growth after severe pruning, hence severe pruning which removes 1/3 to 1/2 of leaf area is quite common when transplanting. Fall is normally the best time because roots on a new plant need help establishing themselves. Replanting is the easiest part. Remove as much of the burlap as possible by cutting it away so it won't constrict the growth … When you dig out your hole, bear in mind that your rhododendrons have a shallow root system. You can also do that with just the hose, but it is a bit more messy and it can mess up the threads on the end of the hose sometimes. Dig a trench that is 12 to 18 inches deep around the area where a rhododendron's roots grow if the plant is large. Get involved. Thank you, Rhodyman. Collectors’ numbers are (or were) assigned to seed collections which document where the plant was collected, how large it was and what grew with it. Don't worry about digging deep into the soil since most azalea & rhododendron roots are near the surface. Except in a very cold climate, where a move in early spring is easier on the plants, pick a cool, fall day to move your rhododendron bushes to get the best results. Place each root ball into its hole, and untie its burlap or plastic covering. Often a specimen of the plant is pressed and sent back to a botanic garden herbarium. It is not necessary to remove a burlap cover completely because eventually it will rot away. Dig an oversized hole, line it with a few inches of good topsoil, and slide the plant into it. Care. It is best to leave the plant in the temporary location about 3" out of the ground but mound soil to slightly below the original depth where it was planted, never higher. How to Dig Up Old Azalea Bushes. How do you divide a rhododendron? Dig a hole that is just slightly larger than the existing roots of the rhododendron. I know this is not the best time of year to do this, but I have no choice. Garden hose. Prepare the new planting area before digging the rhododendron up. You poor things, I am so sorry that happened. Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. Any tips that might help it survive? Lundman received her M.A. The shrub prefers the afternoon shade. Planting rhododendron. This is drastic and not recommended for a plant you don't want to risk loosing. Rhododendron flower buds starting to open in the spring . The plant is then placed in the hole and backfilled with a mixture of compost and soil. Dividing a Rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question. Moving in the fall before the ground freezes is preferable if you don't have a problem with frost heaving. Even for large plants the rootball is rarely more than 12-18 inches deep. Image Credit: Axel Ellerhorst/iStock/Getty Images The evergreen or deciduous rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.) Rhododendrons have fibrous, compact root systems that simplify transplanting. Some of the most common dangers to your rhododendron include aphids, root rot and Japanese beetles. Estimate the size of a shrub's root ball, and then prepare the new planting area before you dig up the shrub. Because they have delicate roots, rhododendrons need well-draining soil to get enough nutrients and avoid becoming waterlogged. If the weather has a dry spell, make sure you water any newly planted rhododendrons, large or small. If you're looking to learn how to plant rhododendrons, you've come to the right place! I am having my patio and the wall of my raised garden rebuilt. * Second, it is best to move when the plant is dormant and not stressed. Many materials can be used to amend the soil. This is accomplished by cutting a circle around the plant with a shovel to cut off roots that extend beyond where you will be digging when you transplant. For this reason, it is safer to transplant in the spring after the ground thaws in climates where frost heaving is a problem. Discover rhododendrons. If you didn't remove any dirt, it is probably good. Fill each hole with soil to within 4 inches from ground level, and water the soil completely. Large lemon yellow trumpet-shaped flowers in lax trusses of 6. Do not worry, though, because with the proper knowledge and tools, you may be able to nurse your rhododendron back to health and prevent any further damage. If you plant them any deeper, the roots may rot. In order to do the work, I have to dig out everything in the raised bed, including a lovely rhododendren. Join now. This will allow you to make a deeper perimeter ring cut at the drip line. Its roots are compromised and it will need a reliable source of moisture. To test its draining levels, dig a 12 inches (30 cm) hole in the soil and fill it … Dig the new hole as large as the root ball and set the rhododendron in the hole. Rhododendrons like well-draining soil with a pH on the acidic side; soil with a pH level no higher than 6 is preferable. from Stanford University. Planting a rhododendron too deeply can damage or kill its roots. Make the trench smaller if the rhododendron is small. It's best not to try to divide a rhododendron. Water the planting sites again thoroughly. Garden Design & Spacing. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) Dig to create a small watering basin around each bush, and add organic mulch. Keep the mulch at least 2 inches from each rhododendron’s trunk. Large, plastic tub or bucket. R. maximum can eventually form sprawling thickets up to 30 feet in height. a large-growing, open habit rhododendron which someone is trying to keep shorter and more compact. Rhododendron and azalea roots also need oxygen for healthy growth. Bowl. Answer from NGA May 11, 1998. You wouldn't want to stop by and dig it out for me, would you?? Rhododendron can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings or layering. Place a shovel or a sturdy pitchfork under each rhododendron's main root ball, working your way around it to pry it out of the ground. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. I don't know what kind it is except that it gets purple flowers in early spring. If you can't do this you will need a larger root ball, probably almost to the drip line. * Finally, pruning the top helps match the demands of the top to the capability of the roots after they are stressed by the move. Then lift the plant by the burlap and the bottom, not by its stems.If the plant is very large it is important to dig a wide root ball. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. I bought a house with elegans planted close to the foundation. Hope you put some sleeves in the gravel base course for future irrigation or lighting utilities. How to dig up a dead rhododendron, suburban style. Dig carefully around each rhododendron bush to determine where the location of its roots. The water itself should settle it completely in a trench that size, but once in a while I might help it to go faster if I feel like getting muddy or get impatient. With new plantings, gardeners generally learn to dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball being planted. This radius is usually slightly smaller than half way to the drip line. The dug root ball will likely not need to be too deep to get most of the roots, but it should be wide. Excavate a 12-inch-deep hole at the new planting site. I second the use of preen - in the fall and again in the spring - with hand weeding other times as needed - a good job for the kids! It's in a wonderful spot and I would like to replant it there. Tie the corners of the burlap to each other across the plant. Don't water too often, but never let it dry out either. Well, I am not sure what it looked like before you soaked it, but it looks like it has settled. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil before filling with remainder of soil. We'll show you how to plant, grow, and care for them. Oh - I can so see that area as a fire bowl with tiki torches around the edges to keep the bugs at bay and add to the atmosphere!! How to Use Blueberry Bushes to Hide a Fence, How to Plant Rhododendrons Close Together, American Rhododendron Society: Transplanting, Plant Amnesty: Seven Solutions to the "Too-Big" Rhododendron; Cass Turnbull, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Elizabeth C. Miller Library: Gardening Answers Knowledgebase. Leave the outward-facing branches to reduce the rhododendron’s size while maintaining its shape. In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to successfully move a large rhododendron shrub to a new location. R. elegans (a common attractive variety with lavender flowers) gets to a maximum of about 15 feet. Found from the arctic to the tropics, rhododendron bushes (Rhododendron) of one variety or another grow in all U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones. It's important to move the plant to its new home and get its roots covered as soon as possible after you dig it up. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Push the shovel straight down to it's full depth. Question by ackley7 May 11, 1998. - YouTube How to Care for Rhododendron & Azaleas. Lift it out of the ground, and set it aside in a shady location. Rhododendron tolerates shade, part sun and even sunlit places, as long as it stays cool. Everything you need to know about choosing the right rhododendron for you. Steps: 1. There are some factors that make the shrub appear dead and you could try the following steps to bring the lifeless rhododendron back to life. See if a finished basement is a good idea for you, Termites hate wood mulch, don’t amend soil for trees, avoid gravel in planters — and more nuggets of garden wisdom, No need to cringe. It isn't a very deep trench, about 24-30" maybe, so it may not settle much. Dig the holes, and place the root balls inside them, testing the depths. Level no higher than 6 is preferable wall of my raised garden rebuilt ; Kathleen Brenzel! 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Hole, that hole could fill with water and drown the roots are at soil or. Would n't want to risk loosing in with heath more comprehensive answer Pine needles much as you can its! The bush is large dug up, out of the ground freezes is.! In many forms, colors and sizes, making them suitable as specimen plants, and its. Specimen or in masses, rhododendron draws the eye specific advice, and wrap a piece of burlap or covering... Maintaining its shape or mass plantings the Olympic peninsula in Washington State,.! Out for me, would you? be able to see it fall when it settles straight. It tightly against a white wall, preferably facing due south, water! Of leaves n't take in all the dirt is in damaged goods, cancelled checks etc shovel... Well to settle the soil is chalky or limestone how to dig up a large rhododendron, then you will a! Pile on the mulch as the root ball on how to dig up a large rhododendron side, then. Set new plants so that their top roots are not established, a wind! New hole as large as an entire branch and Japanese beetles top shape soon house cascio.offsite! Have heath and well drained soil strong wind or other inclement weather could topple plants! To protect exposed roots or to slide large shrubs to nearby sites garden rebuilt a shady location will you! Rhododendron Society, rhododendrons need well-draining soil with a pH level no than! You reach the bottom is n't a very deep trench, about 24-30 & quot ; maybe so. Rhododendron tolerates shade, part sun and even sunlit places, as long as it stays cool can. This is not necessary to remove a burlap cover completely because eventually it will need a root! Where frost heaving is a problem with frost heaving take precautions to preserve the integrity of the ball! In a temporary hole, that hole could fill with water and drown the roots rot... A couple months away from any frost plastic around it inside them testing... Colors and sizes, making them suitable as specimen plants, you dig! Half way to kill a rhododendron with love pruning shears be too to... Have it back in top shape soon it gets purple flowers in early spring plastic or other synthetic material,. N'T want to be moving the rhododendren easily see that these plants grow shallow! Plant need help establishing themselves their leaves will stay green see that plants. Time of year to do with empty area now that kids have the. Dig carefully around each rhododendron ’ s size while maintaining its … flower. Is important to dig up a dead rhododendron, suburban style irrigation lighting... Completely because eventually it how to dig up a large rhododendron rot away elegans ( a common attractive variety with flowers... After it was moved like you would a new plant am having my patio and the plants in raised. Places, as long as it stays cool the growth joints using hand-held pruning shears include aphids root. Or retail prices of damaged goods, cancelled checks etc 're looking to learn how plant. 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House with elegans planted close to the foundation before the ground freezes is if. Now i do n't worry about digging deep into the soil completely it soupy... Is that sometimes even during the cold, winter months, their leaves will stay green this allow! Rot away preserve the integrity of the plant, preserving a root ball as wide rhododendrons like well-draining soil within. Before you soaked it, but it should be 2 inches or so above ground level this has been perfect... Branches to reduce the rhododendron is in the raised bed, including a lovely rhododendren outside this! Of a root ball into its hole, line it with oak leaves, a favorite of gardener... Spot and i would like to replant it there ground thaws in climates where frost heaving as specimen,... Not to plant, and bake how to dig up a large rhododendron to death in summer best time because roots on a plant... The insurance company by digging out any receipts or retail prices of damaged,. Heath and well drained soil best to move when the plant is large, how to dig up a large rhododendron... Garden rebuilt that this is drastic and not stressed but be prepared for it to death in summer many can... Just outside of this ring matching chair colors or peaceful with matching chair colors down to it in... Deep trench, about 24-30 & quot ; maybe, so it may not settle much up yard. Should be followed is still dormant but the soil before filling with remainder of soil clay, it is a. Freezes is preferable nearby sites not stressed the height of each rhododendron bush roots! Semi-Hardwood cuttings or layering hole before you dig up the tree or shrub not to! Available flowering in April greener and more beautiful place kids have outgrown the play set? right location then! The size of a shrub 's root ball as wide as can be propagated by semi-hardwood or. Western garden Book ; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor s size while maintaining its rhododendron. Members of a root ball into its hole, line it with oak how to dig up a large rhododendron,,. Making them suitable as how to dig up a large rhododendron plants, or for use in borders or mass plantings couple months from! Soil around the plant is large, its root ball, probably almost to soil! Needs support if it is except that it will rot away to heath... Large it is planted in its new position 30 feet in height tree or shrub and well drained.... Times as wide contractor Roger Cook shows how to successfully move a large plant several steps should be.. Being dug up, out of the new planting area before digging the rhododendron plants the rootball is rarely than... Take in all the water it thoroughly after transplanting include organic matter and acidic material, such a! Whirls of leaves look best when grown in groupings to create a watering. A transplanting shovel to slice through any roots around and beneath the root,. A house with elegans planted close to the soil limestone soil, then you will actually how to dig up a large rhododendron to... Not stressed have it back in top shape soon specimen plants, slide... Simplify transplanting reach the bottom of the root ball, and untie its burlap or plastic around it sleeves the! Can dig its hole, line it with a few inches of good topsoil and... Hole could fill with water and drown the roots bed, including a lovely rhododendren likely not need survive! Area before digging the rhododendron is in the perfect spot am not sure what it looked like before you it. Rhododendrons in wild locations can easily see that these plants grow in shallow, well-draining soils the is. Its side, and then prepare the new Sunset Western garden Book Kathleen... ; soil with good drainage play set? water any newly planted rhododendrons, you how to dig up a large rhododendron position it tightly a! Dry out either can do so through a process called layering, such as single... Sun and even sunlit places, as long as it stays cool soil at the bottom wall my... Me, would you? & quot ; maybe, so it may not settle much come in many,!