The Q&A Archives: Moving, want to take plants

Question: We are planning to move next Feb/March to a lake in OK. I have many plants I would like to take with me. If I dig them up in fall, will they survive til spring? What I have are standard lilies, day lilies, calalilies, bleeding heart, irises, daffodils, and peonies. I could build a spot to move them before the homesite is complete, but I will probably move them again. Will they survive if I move them more than once in the spring?


Answer: I think your plan to pot things up this fall is a good one. The only caution is to make sure the climate in your new place is similar to that in your present garden. I'd wait until everything is dormant then dig them up a pop them into containers. You can leave some of the soil around the roots, but don't pot up an entire gallon of soil - use potting soil instead. Start by putting some moistened potting soil in clean nursery pots (or purchase plastic pots with drainage holes on the bottom), setting the roots of your plants into the pots, then putting more potting soil in and around the root mass. Water everything well after planting to help settle the roots into the soil. Set the pots outdoors, burying them in the ground if you regularly get winter freezes; or set them on the ground if your garden doesn't freeze during the winter months. If rainfall is sparse be sure to water the pots every week or two - often enough so the soil doesn't completely dry out but not so often that the soil stays wet. Move the pots when you move to your new home, placing them in a spot with similar exposure to the sunshine as they had when they were growing in your yard. Prepare your flower beds and replant as early in the spring as you can. Your plants should bloom right on time if treated in this manner. I'd leave the daffodils in their pots until after they have bloomed and the foliage has died down; then plant them in the ground.

Best wishes with your plants and with your move!

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