When, Why, and How to Transplant Hydrangeas

Updated on October 10, 2018
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Sofia Hann is a published writer who specialises in home decor and improvement. Her articles have appeared in a number of decent websites.

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Growing hydrangeas in your garden presents many health and environmental benefits. They are believed to be effective in treating urinary tract problems, kidney stones, and other common illnesses such as hay fever.

Hydrangeas are also beautiful shrubs that add value to your garden and improve the aesthetics of the house. You can expect a variety of colors like vibrant pink, lavender, and clear blue to bloom, depending on the species and soil pH. This plant is easy to grow and can adapt to any type of soil without forcing it to produce lovely flower heads.

But there might come a time when your hydrangeas will likely experience slow growth or fail to thrive in their present locations. When planning to move them to a different soil bed, it pays to consider the right time to do so.

When Should You Transplant Hydrangeas?

Climate plays a crucial role when transplanting hydrangeas. As recommended, it’s best to transfer locations in late fall or early winter. The rule of thumb is to transplant before the ground begins to freeze to prevent the roots from dying. In cooler climates, it’s safe to move the plants in November. On another note, if you live in warmer areas, you can have the work done around December and February.

Knowing when hydrangea shrubs go dormant also indicates the ideal time for moving. Another aspect to check is the number of leaves present on these plants. When you notice a few leaves within the shrub, it’s a clear indication that you can proceed with the move. You may ask a trusted horticulturist or a garden specialist for gardening advice or to assist you when preparing the rootball for relocation.

Transplanted hydrangeas with fewer leaves—or none at all—can focus more on root formation. So, it’s important to observe the plants’ behavior before you try to repot or relocate them.

Why Do Hydrangeas Need to Be Transplanted?

Hydrangeas are considered to be deciduous shrubs, since they shed their leaves annually to mature. They can grow up to 5 to 6 feet high, depending on the degree of care given to them.

Since most hydrangeas thrive in well-drained soil and under a regulated sun’s heat, identifying the appropriate location is important for their survival.

How Do You Transplant Hydrangeas?

While it can be a one-person job, it’s wise to have someone or a professional to help you transplant hydrangea shrubs, especially if you need to carry a much bigger cluster of them. Here’s what you have to remember when working on the process:

1. Dig up in advance.

When it comes to transplanting any plants, urgency is important. You don’t want your hydrangeas to wait longer just because you’ve forgotten to dig a hole in your new relocation area.

It’s essential to have the new location ready to avoid sapping its energy when you shovel the ground and remove the hydrangea from its original place.

2. Find the right relocation spot.

Ideally, hydrangeas love to stay in a place where sunlight is controlled. When choosing the best place for your hydrangeas, it’s necessary to pick a location with semi-shade, so as to avoid dehydrating the shrubs or bushes.

Another consideration is the rootball size. Will the new spot be able to house the hydrangea’s rootball? If not, it’s best to find a different place that will accommodate the it.

3. Water the plants well.

Like with humans, plants also need enough fluids to keep them alive and thriving. More so when transplanting them to a new place.

If you plan to move the shrubs during fall or winter, they can survive even with less water. But if it’s done in spring or summer, your hydrangeas will be needing an ample supply of water to help save the rooting system. You can use a garden hose to water the soil until it reaches the roots.

4. Compost and mulch.

Newly transplanted plants need the right kind of fertilizer to reduce the risk of hydrangea transplant shock. It’s important to add organic fertilizers to encourage bigger blooms and help the root mass grow larger.

Mulching the garden and its surrounding areas is also essential to fill the soil with enough nutrients to survive.

Note: Transplanting hydrangeas doesn’t have to be a burden. While homeowners have the option to plant them in a pot, these flower-budding shrubs can grow wide when replanted in the yard. Doing the work yourself is viable, but looking for a reliable garden expert to help you can make the process quicker and more effective.

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