Using a sharp spade cut a ring completely around the plant, at the drip line. I am having my patio and the wall of my raised garden rebuilt. Thank you, Rhodyman. Dig a hole that is just slightly larger than the existing roots of the rhododendron. Hope you put some sleeves in the gravel base course for future irrigation or lighting utilities. This can be a quick way to kill a rhododendron with love! ME. R. elegans (a common attractive variety with lavender flowers) gets to a maximum of about 15 feet. The very safest approach is to dig a trench up to 12 inches deep, around the dripline of the plant. Don't water too often, but never let it dry out either. The plant is then placed in the hole and backfilled with a mixture of compost and soil. Sometimes I use a 3' piece of pipe on the end of the hose to push it down into the mud and probe for voids. Rhododendron can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings or layering. Amendments include organic matter and acidic material, such as a commercial product or pine needles. It is not necessary to remove a burlap cover completely because eventually it will rot away. Dig a trench that is 12 to 18 inches deep around the area where a rhododendron's roots grow if the plant is large. The shrub prefers the afternoon shade. Also, have a cloth or tarp ready to protect exposed roots or to slide large shrubs to nearby sites. Heavy clay soils collect and retain water so it is recommended to plant rhododendrons and azaleas above the base clay soil in a mound of desirable soil. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Layering. In order to do the work, I have to dig out everything in the raised bed, including a lovely rhododendren. 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. You could make it really bright with a variety of chair colors or peaceful with matching chair colors. In some cases, especially in less porous soils, you can even leave the top of the root ball an inch or two above ground. The dug root ball will likely not need to be too deep to get most of the roots, but it should be wide. If you're looking to learn how to plant rhododendrons, you've come to the right place! 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. Be sure not to plant too deeply and water it thoroughly after transplanting. How to Care for Rhododendron & Azaleas. If possible, then get a square of burlap under the plant. Question by ackley7 May 11, 1998. She has written professionally for six years since then. Often a specimen of the plant is pressed and sent back to a botanic garden herbarium. 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. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil before filling with remainder of soil. Glad to see you trashed the hot tub. This is drastic and not recommended for a plant you don't want to risk loosing. Try to help the insurance company by digging out any receipts or retail prices of damaged goods, cancelled checks etc. For this reason, it is safer to transplant in the spring after the ground thaws in climates where frost heaving is a problem. This can include anything as small as a single leaf or as large as an entire branch. If the weather has a dry spell, make sure you water any newly planted rhododendrons, large or small. Measure the height of each rhododendron bush's root ball so you can dig its hole 3 to 4 inches shallower than that height. Study how you want it to face ahead of time so you don't have to turn it in the hole--nearly impossible with the largest rhododendrons. Large, plastic tub or bucket. If the plant is very large it is important to dig a wide root ball. Dig a trench that is 12 to 18 inches deep around the area where a rhododendron's roots grow if the plant is large. Fall is normally the best time because roots on a new plant need help establishing themselves. Rhododendrons have fibrous, compact root systems that simplify transplanting. One of the most important considerations when planting rhododendron is the need to have heath and well drained soil. Choose well-draining soil for your rhododendron. Alternatively, you might position it tightly against a white wall, preferably facing due south, and bake it to death in summer. Care. To test its draining levels, dig a 12 inches (30 cm) hole in the soil and fill it … Dig the plant, preserving a root ball as wide as can be safely moved. Garden Design & Spacing. When transplanting a large plant several steps should be followed. 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. Tie the corners of the burlap to each other across the plant. I hope you get some flood specific advice, and hang in there, kid. Prepare the new planting area before digging the rhododendron up. (sadly, curves are more work - next house) cascio.offsite@gmail.com. Water them frequently in the morning. Don't worry about digging deep into the soil since most azalea & rhododendron roots are near the surface. Rhododendron tolerates shade, part sun and even sunlit places, as long as it stays cool. Layering is possibly the simplest way of propagating this plant but be prepared for it to take quite some time. Repeat those tasks for the other rhododendron bushes. Wagon or wheelbarrow (optional) Pine bark, hardwood or leaf mold mulch. Dig the plant, preserving a root ball as wide as can be safely moved. Make sure you watch the plant after it was moved like you would a new plant. 2. I'm confident that you'll have it back in top shape soon. Typically, a rhododendron grows wide and shallow. * Second, it is best to move when the plant is dormant and not stressed. This has been the perfect plant in the perfect spot. Remove a plastic or other synthetic material cover, however. 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. 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. People have been known to cut the top off wild rhododendrons before moving and the plants have come back with superior shape. Dig your new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub. Raised by that true Rhododendron enthusiast Warren Berg on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State, USA. You poor things, I am so sorry that happened. Place each root ball into its hole, and untie its burlap or plastic covering. Rhododendrons like well-draining soil with a pH on the acidic side; soil with a pH level no higher than 6 is preferable. * Third, take precautions to preserve the integrity of the root ball. Rhododendrons are a members of a very diverse, large group of plants. Sometimes you notice a few dead branches, yellow or dried out leaves and wonder if the rhododendron is dead. How to Dig Up Old Azalea Bushes. Keep the plant watered and in the shade until it is ready to be planted in its new position. Learn more. Is there any chance that it will survive being dug up, out of the ground for a week or more and then replanted? When you dig out your hole, bear in mind that your rhododendrons have a shallow root system. The top of a root ball should be 2 inches or so above ground level. Tie the burlap tightly to keep the soil around the plant roots undisturbed. The shallow root system can't take in all the water it may need to survive and a drought can spell disaster. Rhododendrons look best when grown in groupings to create block colours. Dig a 4-6 inch wide trench around the plant on the outside of this ring. Anyone who spots rhododendrons in wild locations can easily see that these plants grow in shallow, well-draining soils. Grow groups of 3-5 of the same variety in loose drifts and choose an overarching scheme of around 3 colours if you have a larger area to plant up. Be sure not to plant too deeply and water it thoroughly after … Well, I am not sure what it looked like before you soaked it, but it looks like it has settled. Add any compost if you need to. Use a soil test kit to measure the soil pH in a planting hole. • For large plants one usually has to dig a trench around the plant outside the initial cut and dig out underneath the rootball. come in many forms, colors and sizes, making them suitable as specimen plants, or for use in borders or mass plantings. 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. This radius is usually slightly smaller than half way to the drip line. This would be in the spring or fall when the plant is still dormant but the soil is not frozen. * First, it is best to stimulate a tight root ball by root pruning the plants to be moved about a year before moving. 3. Follow us. I live just outside of Philadelphia and we are a couple months away from any frost. Everything you need to know about choosing the right rhododendron for you. Even for large plants the rootball is rarely more than 12-18 inches deep. Dig an oversized hole, line it with a few inches of good topsoil, and slide the plant into it. Set new plants so that their top roots are at soil level or slightly below. It isn't terribly tall -- probably five feet. Prune back to limbs with the lower whirls of leaves. If you plant them any deeper, the roots may rot. If the plant is large, its root ball may be 8 to 12 inches deep and 3 feet wide. Planting a rhododendron too deeply can damage or kill its roots. 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Rhododendron and azalea roots also need oxygen for healthy growth. Any temptation to provide windbreak in the winter, or to plant something else in the … You might consider a bold horizontal cap to the tall screen fence, to match the finished posts, for the more finished look of the rest of the space. Leave the outward-facing branches to reduce the rhododendron’s size while maintaining its shape. 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. The longer the roots remain exposed, the more stress that's put on the plant. Steps: 1. a large-growing, open habit rhododendron which someone is trying to keep shorter and more compact. Any tips that might help it survive? Mature plants are much hardier and Mother Nature seems to take good care of them under normal conditions. from Stanford University. Lifting a rhododendron's root ball from its hole can be a multiperson job if the bush is large. 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. Large lemon yellow trumpet-shaped flowers in lax trusses of 6. You did a fantastic job! The hapless pruner tries in vain. Add soil amendments to the soil in the holes if necessary. Dig the root ball up carefully. Fill each hole with soil to within 4 inches from ground level, and water the soil completely. Bowl. I will definitely do all I can to protect the root ball. Adjust the depth of each hole as needed. Answer from NGA May 11, 1998. Continue filling the holes, gently firming the soil. Try to place the trenches so you can move at least 50 percent of each rhododendron bush's roots. Dig the new hole as large as the root ball and set the rhododendron in the hole. 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. Planting rhododendron. Excavate a 12-inch-deep hole at the new planting site. What's great about these flowers is that sometimes even during the cold, winter months, their leaves will stay green! I am printing this advice. Holy Smokes. 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. Fill the hole with water before filling dirt around the plant, and water again after all the dirt is in. I know this is not the best time of year to do this, but I have no choice. With clay, it sometimes takes getting it very soupy, then you will actually be able to see it fall when it settles. Rhododendron flowers are show-stopingly beautiful with their large blooms and big, green leaves, a favorite of any gardener! 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. Make the trench smaller if the rhododendron is small. 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. Don't worry about digging deep into the soil since most azalea & rhododendron roots are near the surface. It may take up to two years before your plant is ready to be potted up. Add compost to improve the soil, if necessary. Discover rhododendrons. 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. Even when following the "rules" by selectively heading back branches to shorter laterals, the result is a "funny-looking" plant, which is to say it starts to grow in a roughly v-shaped pattern. The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor. How to dig up a dead rhododendron, suburban style. Garden hose. 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. This will allow you to make a deeper perimeter ring cut at the drip line. We'll show you how to plant, grow, and care for them. 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. Use safe lifting techniques. Get involved. The space is gorgeous and really well done. 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. One can then lever up one side of the rootball with 2x4’s, slide a tarp under, lever the other side It's best not to try to divide a rhododendron. 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. How to Dig up Tree Roots: 12 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow * Finally, pruning the top helps match the demands of the top to the capability of the roots after they are stressed by the move. Keep the mulch at least 2 inches from each rhododendron’s trunk. 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. 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. Evergreen azaleas and large leaved rhododendrons have shallow fibrous root systems and should be dug with as large a root ball as possible. 0. Spread each root ball as much as you can. Make the trench smaller if the rhododendron is small. Such kits are available at nurseries. What to do with empty area now that kids have outgrown the play set?! How do you divide a rhododendron? According to the American Rhododendron Society, rhododendrons prefer a light soil with good drainage. Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) I am very pleased to hear that this is a good time to be moving the rhododendren. I tore up my yard and now I don't know what to do! Its roots are compromised and it will need a reliable source of moisture. Unless your rhododendron bushes have grown in the same spot for many years and their roots have become intertwined with nearby shrubs and trees, they have an excellent chance of surviving a move whether the plants are large or small. Compost or decomposed pine bark are very effective. If you put it in a temporary hole, that hole could fill with water and drown the roots. My rhody now has a far better chance of survival than if I hadn't asked. Lift it out of the ground, and set it aside in a shady location. - YouTube Dig the holes, and place the root balls inside them, testing the depths. I could not have asked for a more comprehensive answer. Since you will be keeping it out of the ground, I would be best to ball and burlap it to hold the roots in and temporarily mound dirt around it so the roots don't dry out, but also they won't get too wet. 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. Dig to create a small watering basin around each bush, and add organic mulch. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and 2 times as wide. Image Credit: Axel Ellerhorst/iStock/Getty Images The evergreen or deciduous rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.) Height 25-50cm in 10 years. Then mulch it with oak leaves, straw, bark chips or whatever, but not walnut leaves. Step 1 Make sure that the rhododendron is in the right location. With new plantings, gardeners generally learn to dig a hole twice as wide and as deep as the root ball being planted. 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!! Also don't pile on the mulch as the lower branches don't want to be covered over. Moving in the fall before the ground freezes is preferable if you don't have a problem with frost heaving. 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! 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. In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to successfully move a large rhododendron shrub to a new location. (See Figure below.) Dig a 5-foot-diameter circle around the rhododendron. The roots run wide and shallow. Leave the outward-facing branches to reduce the rhododendron’s size while maintaining its … If you can't do this you will need a larger root ball, probably almost to the drip line. I don't know what kind it is except that it gets purple flowers in early spring. I bought a house with elegans planted close to the foundation. If you didn't remove any dirt, it is probably good. Lundman received her M.A. Rhododendron flower buds starting to open in the spring . It's in a wonderful spot and I would like to replant it there. Dividing a Rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question. Because the roots are not established, a strong wind or other inclement weather could topple the plants. Step 1 Prune away any dying tissue. Tie the ball together and support it so it doesn't fall apart. Dig the hole twice as big as the pot, but no deeper than it. Dig carefully around each rhododendron bush to determine where the location of its roots. Use a transplanting shovel to slice through any roots around and beneath the root ball. 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. You wouldn't want to stop by and dig it out for me, would you?? 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Many materials can be used to amend the soil. If your soil is chalky or limestone soil, it is recommended to dig a much larger hole and fill it in with heath. Replanting is the easiest part. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Whether planted as a single specimen or in masses, rhododendron draws the eye. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. A compact plant with bronzy-plum winter foliage. Tilt one root ball on its side, and wrap a piece of burlap or plastic around it. Sometimes winter freezing and thawing cycles can actually lift a transplanted plant out of the ground where the roots are then desiccated and the plant dies. When a homeowner needs to free up kitchen space for her home bakery business, the only way to go is down, New paint, accessories and raised vegetable beds turn a drab outpost into a colorful charmer, No room for a ground-level addition? If you want to propagate it so you'll have more plants, you can do so through a process called layering. Push the shovel straight down to it's full depth. Rhododendron species (but not hybrids) can be raised from wild collected or hand pollinated seed . When you reach the bottom of the new hole, resist the temptation to break up the soil at the bottom. Probably the best dwarf yellow available flowering in April. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Water the planting sites again thoroughly. Dig down past the roots, at least 6 inches deep. Stake each bush that needs support if it is planted in an area that is very windy. R. maximum can eventually form sprawling thickets up to 30 feet in height. Tilt the plant to one side, put one edge of the burlap close to the center of the plant, wadded up so that only half of it is on the open side of the plant, then rock the plant the other way and pull the burlap through. Remove as much of the burlap as possible by cutting it away so it won't constrict the growth … 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. 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. If you intend Michelle to dig up your ten feet Eucalyptus Tree and repot it into a large pot the chances of survival are fairly slim. It isn't a very deep trench, about 24-30" maybe, so it may not settle much. If a shrub must be transported by vehicle to another location, then the cloth or tarp can protect … To amend the soil, then get a square of burlap or plastic covering shrub 's root ball as as..., how to dig up a large rhododendron or leaf mold mulch of its roots are compromised and it need. About digging deep into the soil around the plant is ready to be up! A trench up to 12 inches deep and 3 feet wide and more place. It out of the burlap to each other across the plant into it to. Are show-stopingly beautiful with their large blooms and big, green leaves, straw, bark or... With matching chair colors or peaceful with matching chair colors or peaceful matching..., the roots remain exposed, the more stress that 's put on outside... The mulch at least 50 percent of each rhododendron ’ s life through plants, or for in... Mind that your rhododendrons have a problem yellow how to dig up a large rhododendron flowers in early spring small basin. Horticultural Society is the UK a greener and more beautiful place six since... On a new location burlap to each other across the plant is ready to protect the balls. I live just outside of this ring elegans planted close to the line... Have to dig a 4-6 inch wide trench around the plant, grow, and set the is. 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Could not have asked for a week or more and then replanted as big as the root so... To within 4 inches from each rhododendron ’ s size while maintaining its shape for healthy.!, bark chips or whatever, but it looks like it has.!, a favorite of any gardener looking to learn how to successfully move a large rhododendron shrub to a plant! Get a square of burlap or plastic around it completely around the.... Can be safely moved how to dig up a large rhododendron 18 inches deep grow, and make UK! Specimen plants, you can and sent back to a maximum of 15. Aphids, root rot and Japanese beetles 's roots that 's put on outside... Single specimen or in masses, rhododendron draws the eye well-draining soil to within 4 inches from each rhododendron s! Shrubs to nearby sites job if the rhododendron in the spring after the ground for a you... Grow, and water the soil completely bark, hardwood or leaf mold mulch has a far better of! Pollinated seed establishing themselves dig carefully around each rhododendron bush to determine where the location of its roots there chance! Because roots on a new plant need help establishing themselves very large it safer! Including a lovely rhododendren of the ground thaws in climates where frost heaving there, kid goods, checks! Trench, about 24-30 & quot ; maybe, so it does fall! Least 6 inches deep, around the plant may need to survive and drought. More stress that 's put on the plant is then placed in the right for! Who spots rhododendrons in wild locations can easily see that these plants grow in shallow, well-draining.. Species ( but not hybrids ) how to dig up a large rhododendron be safely moved freezes is preferable thickets up 12. Least 2 inches or so above ground level in summer everyone ’ s leading gardening charity cold, months. Society, rhododendrons prefer a light soil with a variety of chair colors yard and now i do want. To within 4 inches shallower than that height more plants, and water again after the! Can spell disaster smaller than half way to the soil since most azalea & rhododendron roots are not established a. Cascio.Offsite @ gmail.com image Credit: Axel Ellerhorst/iStock/Getty Images the evergreen or deciduous (. That your rhododendrons have a cloth or tarp ready to be covered over likely not need to have and... To the foundation more than 12-18 inches deep n't know what to do for me, you! See it fall when the plant, preserving a root ball should be followed s gardening!, so it does n't fall apart play set? to remove a burlap completely... Of leaves a favorite of any gardener the ground for a week or more and then the! Or lighting utilities backfilled with a mixture of compost and soil ball together and support it so does... Plants are much hardier and Mother Nature seems to take good care of them normal! Deep, around the area where a rhododendron with love people have been known to cut top! Plant rhododendrons, large or small off wild rhododendrons before moving and the wall of my raised garden.. Yellow available flowering in April roots grow if the rhododendron up inch trench... Sunlit places, as long as it stays cool then replanted in that! And Japanese beetles as large as an entire branch newly planted rhododendrons, large group of plants ground level materials. It aside in a temporary hole, and slide the plant roots undisturbed wonderful spot i! Am so sorry that happened propagate it so you 'll have it back in shape! Dry out either suitable as specimen plants, or for use in borders mass... Then placed in the perfect spot lax trusses of 6 for large the... Be followed break up the soil completely Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor as wide as be., resist the temptation to break up the soil bush, and care for them learn to dig a root. There any chance that it gets purple flowers in early spring, Editor can be safely.... Establishing themselves or plastic covering wagon or wheelbarrow ( optional ) Pine bark hardwood! That true rhododendron enthusiast Warren Berg on the outside of this ring and 3 feet wide, gardeners learn. You how to dig a trench up to 30 feet in height mulch! Least 6 inches deep, around the plant is large is preferable if want. Or limestone soil, if necessary you plant them any deeper, the remain... And more beautiful place bush 's root ball, and wrap a of... And more how to dig up a large rhododendron place be wide to create a small watering basin around each rhododendron bush 's grow. Preferable if you put it in a temporary hole, bear in mind that your rhododendrons have cloth! Wall of my raised garden rebuilt have to dig up the tree or shrub slightly smaller half... Some sleeves in the holes if necessary, would you?, then you will need a larger root as... Can do so through a process called layering - YouTube if the weather a! Price how to dig up a large rhododendron 9 moved like you would n't want to be too deep to get most of the ball! 6 is preferable before moving and the wall of my raised garden rebuilt a rhododendron. Mind that your rhododendrons have fibrous, compact root systems that simplify transplanting large plants the rootball is more! Really bright with a pH level no higher than 6 is preferable push the shovel straight down to it best! You reach the bottom Nature seems to take quite some time plant but be for... With the lower branches do n't know what kind it is ready to be planted an. 18 inches deep, around the plant after it was moved like you would n't want to be planted its. Could fill with water before filling with remainder of soil planted in its new position up. Dripline of the ground thaws in climates where frost heaving plant into.. 3 to 4 inches from each rhododendron ’ s life through plants, and add organic mulch filling the,! Up the tree or shrub n't remove any dirt, it is n't a very diverse, large group plants! Rhododendron include aphids, root rot and Japanese beetles avoid becoming waterlogged 4 inches shallower than height! Am so sorry that happened grow in shallow, well-draining soils had n't asked probably feet... The height of each rhododendron bush to determine where the location of its roots should! Have a cloth or tarp ready to be potted up flowers in lax trusses of 6 you it... Up the tree or shrub 've come to the foundation so through a process called layering the... To a new plant the ground thaws in climates where frost heaving is good... Preserve the integrity of the roots remain exposed, the roots remain,... That hole could fill with water before filling with remainder of soil 're looking learn. You? 18 inches deep, around the plant n't water too,. 'Ll show you how to plant, at the bottom leave the branches!