The Q&A Archives: Removal Of Azaleas

Question: We are planning to remove some azaleas from the front of our house. Friends of ours are going to plant them in their yard and they live in any state. When is the best time to dig them up and how should we transport them.

Answer: Azaleas would be best transplanted in the very early spring or in September. Water the plants well the day before you dig them. Dig a large, very wide rootball to take as many roots as possible. Trim back the tops if needed to compensate for any root loss. Wrap the rootballs in canvas tarps and damp newspaper to help keep them moist during transport. Protect the plants from sun and wind during the trip. Move and replant as soon as possible, the shorter the time they are out of the ground the better. If they are out of the ground more than a day you will have to try to water them without dislodging the soil. Replant into prepared, acidic, humus rich soil at the same depth as they grew before. Plant in as similar a location to the one they came from as possible, with the plants facing the same direction as they did before. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until it freezes, then water the following growing season while they become reestablished. Good luck with the move, it can be a huge project if the plants are large.

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