The Q&A Archives: When can I transport lilacs and irises?

Question: I would like to move a small lilac bush and some irises that my grandfather had started for me 7 years ago. Can you tell me when the best time to move them would be?

Answer: Stephanie,

October or November would be a great time to move them as the cooling temperatures result is much less stress to the plants. Cut the plants back by about 1/2 and dig them with as much of the root system (with it's soil) as is practical. Dig 12 inches deep and as wide as is practical for you. Slide the roots with their soil onto a tarp. This way you can easily move it to its new location. In the new location, set the plant at the same depth it was previously growing, firm the soil around the roots, and water it in well.

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