Replanting Hardy Hibiscus - Knowledgebase Question

Kansas City, MO
Question by lderry
July 9, 1998
A friend saw my hardy hibiscus and fell in love with them. How can I give them some of my plants so they can grow some?


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Answer from NGA
July 9, 1998

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Summer isn't the best time to transplant trees and shrubs, but with a little extra care, it can be done. The day before you plan to dig, thoroughly soak the root mass and surrounding soil (this will make digging much easier!). Then carefully wrap the shrub with twine to condense the size and keep the branches from being damaged in transit. When you're ready to dig, start by inserting the shovel just at the dripline or outer leaves of the plant and going straight down. Do this all around the plant to cut any feeder roots that extend beyond the dripline. The roots should be concentrated directly beneath the main stem of the plant (probably 10-12 inches deep), and directly below the branches. Try to dig deeply enough that you remove the entire rootmass without severing any of the roots. Place the rootmass on a plastic tarp or plastic bag and gather the ends up so the roots are not exposed to air or sunlight. Then transport and transplant as quickly as possible. Dig a generous sized hole, spread the roots out, make sure the plant will be at the same depth as it was in its previous home, and back fill with soil. Tamp the soil down gently, but don't stomp it down or you'll compact it too much. Water the plant well, and be sure to apply about one inch of water per week while it's becoming established in its new home. Don't prune and don't fertilize until it begins to show new leafy growth. It may wilt for a few days after transplanting, but it should recover without problems.

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