The Q&A Archives: Moving Perennials

Question: I have a large perennial garden that I moved half of the plants last fall. Is it too late to move what is left, iris', daffodils, purple & yellow corn flowers, and a variety of lillies, hosteas. We want to put in a deck and must move them but also want to save them. Could I put some in buckets for transplants after deck is installed.

Answer: Early spring is fine for moving perennials. The daffodils might not be happy so don't move those unless it is absolutely necessary. They spend several months developing roots to support the foliage and flowers - if you destroy the root systems, they may not survive. Everything else can be moved without problem and you can simply plant them in containers for the summer, placing them into their new bed this fall. If you need to set them all aside temporarily, why not invest in a half whiskey barrel or two? You can fill it with a mixture of garden soil and potting soil, pop all the plants in and easily care for them while their new bed is being prepared.

Good luck with your project!

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