The Q&A Archives: Transplanting

Question: Earlier this summer I planted 2 roses & small Colorado Blue Spruce trees. Our current renovations will necessitate moving these plants. (I used Quick Start on them originally.) If transplanted, what are their chances for survival? Should I transplant sooner rather than later? Should I try to postpone until next year?

Answer: Generally it is better to plant evergreens in the spring, so if you can wait until early next spring for the spruces it would be better. The roses could be moved in September or early next spring. Since these plants are still young, their odds of transplanting successfully are quite good if you do it carefully.

If possible, move them on a day when rain is in the forecast. For both types of plants, water the plant well the day before you plan to move it. Prepare your new planting hole and then dig up the plant. Take as much of a root ball as you can and replant it at the same depth it was originally growing. Water it well to settle it in and be sure it receives adequate water for the rest of the growing season. Even in the fall, it is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy up until the ground freezes. (Check the soil with your finger to see if it is dry or not.) If you move these plants in the fall, do not use a nitrogen fertilizer until the following spring. After that, be sure each plant receives adequate water and nutrients during the following growing season. Good luck with the transplants!

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