The Q&A Archives: Transplant Rose of Sharon Seedlings

Question: I have a clump of seedlings from a 30 yr. old Rose of Sharon. I want to separate them and re-plant them in my yard. My father asked a local landscaper to do it and was told that it couldn't be done, that they wouldn't survive. I know this is wrong because I pulled the mother tree out of a vacant lot 30 years ago and stuck it in my yard. The tree is beautiful and has an abundance of flowers every year. What is the best way, and the best time, to move the seedlings. By the way, they are several years old ranging from 1 to 2 feet tall.

Answer: You are right; in my experience they are not particularly difficult to move, especially at such a small size.

Spring is probably the best time, but I have also done it during the summer and very early fall. Water them well before you dig them up. Don't worry if the soil falls off the roots. Set them upright with the roots in some loose soil or compost in a plant pot or plastic bag so they don't dry out; keep the bag in the shade so they don't cook. Replant as soon as possible at the same depth as they grew before. Water them well, mulch, and keep an eye on the water for the rest of the season. Good luck with your new plants!

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