The Q&A Archives: Replanting Rhododendron

Question: How do you go about replanting a large Rhododendron?

Answer: By replanting I assume you mean transplanting. A large rhododendron can be moved, but it is a huge job. First, pepare the new planting location and be sure the shrub has been well watered the day before. Then dig it up. The roots will be very wide spreading but not terribly deep. You need to keep as many of the roots as possible, so this can result in a gigantic and extremely heavy rootball. With help, maneuver it onto a tarp or plywood sheet and then carry or drag it to the new location. Replant at the same depth as it grew before or slightly higher to allow for settling, and water well. Mulch with several inches of organic mulch and be sure to water regularly until it is re-established. The best time to do this is early spring, the next best time would be September. If necessary, cut the shrub back to compensate for root loss or to make it more manageable to move, but do take as much root as possible.

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