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Movable hydrangea bushes: how and when to transplant hydrangea

Hydrangeas are a staple food in many gardens. Big, beautiful bushes that bloom in many colors and actually prefer some shade - it's hard to go wrong with them. But what if you don't want to keep your hydrangea where it is? You can especially move it around if you planted it in full sun last season and discovered that it isn't doing as well as you hoped it would. Or maybe you just want it somewhere where you can see it better. Whatever the reason, hydrangea transplanting is a common occurrence and not difficult to do. Read on to learn more about how to transplant hydrangea bushes.

Transplant hydrangeas

The best time to transplant hydrangeas is after the bushes have fallen asleep in the fall. This means that the flowers have all gone down and most or all of the leaves have fallen.

  • In cooler climates, the best time to move hydrangea bushes is November, when the bush is dormant but the ground is not yet frozen solid.
  • In warmer climates where the soil won't freeze, you can transplant your hydrangea between December and February.

While these are the best times to move hydrangea bushes, you can do it anytime during the year without killing the plant, provided it's not in the summer heat.

How to transplant hydrangea shrubs

When transplanting hydrangeas, the first step is to dig a hole in your new location. Moving hydrangea bushes require a lot of digging, and you don't want your poor plant waiting out of the ground to dig a big hole.

Choose a location that will receive at least some shade during the day. If your hydrangea bush is large and unwieldy, trim it back a little before moving it.

Next, it's time to dig up your hydrangea. Lower your shovel into the ground in a circle around the bush to free the root ball. Hydrangea root balls can be large and very heavy - it may take more than one person and a crowbar to pry them out of the ground.

Once you get it out, move it to its new home, fill the soil around it, and soak the root ball thoroughly. If it's fall or winter, you shouldn't have to water it again until spring. Put a few inches of compost on the ground. When spring comes, water it frequently throughout the growing season to establish it.

If you've moved in spring or early summer, the bush will need a lot of water while the roots will find themselves in the new environment.