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Hi, just wondering is it ok to dig out a berbris now as it has gotten too large for where it is and i have a place out in my front garden  which would be fine. So could I do it now or wait a while, all advice welcome.


Gary Hobson

I have transplanted a large berberis, and I found it difficult. Simply tryiing to dig up a 'rootball' doesn't really work, because the roots don't naturally form a ball. Mine had long deep roots, several feet long, somewhat like a rose. The plant needed a lot of TLC for several months. The plant did survive.

If yours was bought in a container, and had constrained roots, in a ball, then it might be easier.

The leaves of berberis are holly-like, so the plant doesn't tend to wilt like most plants, and doesn't respond to watering in the same way. That just makes post-translant care more tricky.

If we should turn out to have a spell of hot weather, then now would not be a good time.

That's just my experience.

I agree with Gary. On top of everything else you will have to handle viciously
Prickly stems, etc., not easy or nice. You don't say which berberis it it darwinii? You can prune this back as hard as you like and it will be fine
Alina W

I would definitely wait, too - I moved one at this time of year once, and it didn't survive.

Me too.  The best time to move things is autumn when most plants go dormant and thus suffer less shock from being moved.   It will also help to prune some of the top growth so the roots have less work to do maintaining the plant above soil and can concentrate on re-establishing themselves for a healthy future. 

Make sure the root ball is well watered before digging it out and that the new hole is ready for it to go into without it hanging around and risking drying out precious roots.  Add some bonemeal and some Rootgrow to the new hole to encourage new root growth.  Water well.



If you cant wait until the autumn to do the moving you could do some pruning of the evergreen types now. They would cope well doing a hard prune now, giving time for the new stems to harden up before the colder weather.

The deciduous types respond well, ie survive, after a Winter pruning. So that's  another option. J.

Thanks to all for the very informative advice, i will wait untill Autumn. I don,t know

which berberis it is, not looking forward to moving it as it just loves to Stab me if i

even look at it

Great plants, but not particularly gardener friendly! Just like pyracantha which jumps out from the border with those deadly needles! I moved into a house once where the previous owner worked for the local authority. I'm sure he acquired a few of the council's parks and garden surplus' because it was full of berberis and pyracantha which councils like because they are less likely to be abused by the kids and ne'er-do-wells ripping them up or running thru' them. In the end I was so sick to death of being pricked, I hacked them all down to an inch of their life. Needless to say they were back to full strength within 2 years!!

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