The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Mature Azaleas

Question: Is it possible to successfully transplant mature azaleas after the spring bloom?

Answer: Basically, the answer is yes. Azaleas can be transplanted successfully if it is done carefully and they are well cared for afterwards until they become reestablished. In mild winter areas it is possibly better done in early fall. Water the azalea well the day before you plan to move it. Prepare the new planting location immediately ahead of time, then dig up the azalea. These shrubs are shallow rooted but the roots can run very wide, so dig carefully and take as much of the root ball as possible. It can be extremely heavy so you may need help. It may also be easier to place it on a tarp or sheet of plywood and drag it than try to carry it. If the top growth makes it impossible to dig, then trim it back as needed. It will regrow relatively quickly due to the large root system, and a bit of pruning will also help balance any root loss during digging. Replant immediately at the same depth (no deeper) than it grew before and water it in so as to settle out any air pockets. Mulch with several inches of organic mulch and keep evenly moist (not soggy) for at least the coming year just as you would any newly planted azalea.

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