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I have a Physocarpus Diablo which is outgrowing the space it is in.  It is in a border and I would like to move it, but wonder whether trying to dig it up will just kill it.  Any suggestions on moving it or else how could I take some cuttings, perhaps soft wood cuttings.  I usually cut it back after flowering, but it does not seem to like this, as it just rampages through the rest of the summer.   If it is not 'dealt' with, I am sure it will be consigned to the composter and that would be a shame, but it is smothering everything else around it.   Help please.


Hi Novice. this is a naturally large quick shrub. Its response to cutting back is to grow even faster. Maybe it's just too big for the space available and should be replaced by something smaller

Hiya novice.

I cut mine back in autumn....early spring is better.  You don't get the flowers.  I grow mine for its foliage.

If you cut back in spring and do so hard to the base ??ou will get strong upright highly coloured leaves on a compact tidy bush.

You can move it.....I moved mine one winter.  Make sure you get good rootball.  Not sure about cuttings as I have never wanted to do this but I think hardwood cuttings would work well 

Thanks for the responses.  Nutcutlet - Yup it is definitely too bit for the space it is in, but I would like to move it and let what is there have room to grow, rather than losing it altogether.  When it is in flower it is lovely.  Would it be happy in partial shade?  

Thanks Verdun for the suggestion about hardwood cuttings, are they the same as for roses where you put them in a trench and leave them?    I would like to take cuttings then if I move it and it dies I might have something left.  When would be best time to do hardwood cuttings and should I do them in pots? You can tell I am very green about cuttings!  Thanks for all the help.







Hardwood cuttings at once, if not sooner.

If you click on 'how to' at the top of this page there's an article on hardwood cuttings. I often put them in pots because I never have a suitable bit of ground ready but I should think in the ground would be better.

My physocarpus is in some shade, maybe too much of it. It gets some die back on new shoots sometimes though overall it does OK


Agree with nut.  I prefer using pots too for hardwood cuttings

My Diablo is in full sun.....I think maybe that's why its more compact.  Colour prob better too in sun.

Look, if you prefer something else there you have nothing to lose by moving your Diablo.  


Thank you both for the advice and link to the "How To...", it looks straightforward and as it is not raining (at the moment) I will try that later today.  Pots sound a good idea too, as I can keep it sheltered more easily.   Then I might try moving it. Can I do it in spring or should I wait until next autumn, when I might have some cuttings?




I'd take the cuttings now and move it now. Winter is fine for moving deciduous shrubs.Unless it's frozen ground or waterlogged.

Hmmmm. Waterlogged, Could be a problem there.

Hi just finished taking the hardwood cuttings and have ab out a dozen in pots.  Ground is definitely too waterlogged to dig at the moment, would probably need a snorkel if I tried.  I will move it in early spring, as soon as the ground is hard enough to work on, and will try your suggestion Edd, of dividing the roots.  I might end up with a couple of new plants and at least I can say I tried!!!


Many thanks for all the help.  

Meant to say you can also layer this plant.   Even now.  If you have a pliable enough branch nick it on its lower side, push into soil and pin down or weigh down with stone. I like to press compost into the cut too.  Many of my own plants have been produced by layering. 

That sounds like a good plan Verdun.  Can probably manage that now, as I have a couple of branches that are bent down towards the soil anyway.  

Many thanks


It is now mid March ad I have eleven hardwood cuttings with leaves and shoots on them so am delighted that I will not lose my plant.  The layering dfid not work, or not so far, but given all the rain I am not surprised.    My only problem now is where do I put 11 new shrubs!!!   What a lovely problem to have and II feel lots of giveaway plants in the making.

Thanks everyone for the advice and information,I would not have had the confidence to try this without your encouragement. 


Novice let them grow on for the summer, potting on if necessary.  

Thanks Verdun, they are still just little cuttings with shoots, but I will keep them growing on as you suggest.  Would it be better to keep them like this until next spring, rather than planting out in the autumn?   

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