The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Overgrown Dahlia

Question: I planted a dahlia nearby a dwarf Japanese maple, not realizing just how big the dahlia would get. It's getting so big now that it is overshadowing my beautiful maple. Is it okay to dig it up and move it now? I'd rather not wait until the fall.

Answer: There is a risk that digging it up and transplanting it could stress the dahlia so it stops blooming. However, it is not good for the Japanese maple to be crowded and it is the more valuable of the two, so it would probably be better to move the dahlia now. Water it well the day before, dig as large a root ball as possible to take the tuber without damaging it, and then replant immediately at the same depth as it grew before. Stake the plant to protect it from wind damage while it becomes reestablished and the soil resettles. Keep an eye on the watering so the soil stays moist, since drought stress can make it stop blooming.

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