The Q&A Archives: Transplanting

Question: I planted three bushes of salvia in my front yard but found them unsightly due to their explosive growth which appeared unmanageable and not good looking. I planned to transplant them to other areas, maybe backyard.

1. Is there a proper time for transplanting salvia?
2. Where can I put them? Do they need direct sunlight, or shady is fine?
3. For my dwarf Albertus cyprus tree, half of the leaves are dried. Do you consider it is dead, or there is chance of recovering? Does it need direct sunlight? Currently it is planted where another large tree leaves may have cover some of the sunlight. But I have a dilemma for transplanting since I have a pair of these in my front door and I can not take one out which may seem unbalance. Please advise.

Answer: Based on your description I think you might have Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage. This is a large and somewhat wild looking salvia that grows into the two to four foot range and can sometimes look a bit umkempt. In your area, however, this plant would not be winter hardy so there would not be much point to transplanting it.

(The perennial salvias are smaller and tend to be fairly tidy in their natural habit. If you have one of these, you can transplant it at the beginning of September when the drought will hopefully begin to break for seasonal fall rains. When you dig it, take as much of the root system as possible and replant immediately. Trim it back to compensate for any roots lost in the transplanting process. Water thoroughly when you replant. Salvia needs full direct sun all day and a well drained soil.)

I think your second question is about a dwarf Alberta Spruce. This is a plant that prefers cooler summers and tolerates very cold winters. At the southern part of its climate range, in hot summer areas such as Maryland, this evergreen is frequently attacked by mites which cause one side to become bare. Although they can be treated, it is best to catch them very early on before the tree is bare. Once bare, it may not grow back from the older wood. I would suggest you consult with your Maryland extension to see if they can help you diagnose this more specifically and based on knowing that, recommend how to treat it. Here is their contact information.

I wish I could be more encouraging.

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