The Q&A Archives: Moving Perennials

Question: We will begin construction on a new home this summer, and I'll need to start digging out our perennials and moving them to another location temporarily. How can I successfully dig them up and maintain them until our new home is finished and I can replant? When would you suggest replanting.

Answer: Most perennials do not transplant safely in late fall or winter, so your best bet would probably be to set up a holding area or nursery bed for your perennials in a location where they can remain undisturbed until next spring. Prepare the soil as you would for a garden, then transplant the perennials into it. If you are careful, you can transplant them at any time during the summer, but you will need to keep them well watered until they are well reestablished.

If your new gardens are ready sooner, you could plant them in their permanent spaces late this summer or early fall, or else wait and then transplant early the following spring. (Some plants do better if moved in the fall, some in the spring.) You might also take the opportunity to divide any that need it or to increase any favorites in preparation for planting in their permanent locations at your new home.

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