Winter is the perfect time to move a deciduous shrub or fruit bush. It’s best to not move evergreens and more tender plants until spring, when the risk of frost damage has passed.
Whichever shrub you need to move, there are several things you can do to help it re-establish in its new home. Moving a shrub puts stress on the roots, so particular attention must be paid to helping re-grow the root area.
What’s going on above ground is important too, as water loss from stems and leaves needs to be minimised after the plant has been moved.
Follow our four easy tips for helping a shrub re-establish after moving, below
Stake for support
Large shrubs and trees will benefit from being held steady while their roots re-establish in the first year after being moved. Such support is particularly important when the plant comes into leaf in spring and presents a large ‘sail’ for the wind to blow at.
Hammering in a stake to support a shrub
Apply high-potash feed
Potash is often overlooked for its capacity to toughen stems and leafy growth, which will reduce water loss in the plant’s first season after being moved. Thankfully, most soils already contain plenty of phosphate, which promotes strong root growth.
Sprinkling a scoopful of powdered high-potash feed onto the soil around plants
Mulch the soil surface
Adding a 10cm layer of well-rotted compost will help to trap moisture in the soil. After application, scrape the mulch away from the base of young stems. The mulch will also suppress the growth of weeds that compete with your plants for moisture and nutrients.
Adding a layer of mulch around a transplanted shrub
Soak roots in first season
All transplanted shrubs will need a thorough watering every 10 days or so during the growing season. Soak the soil around the plant with at least one large can of water to encourage roots to grow down into the soil rather than staying close to the surface.
Pouring a whole watering can of water onto a transplanted shrub
Yellow flowers of buffalo currant Ribes odoratum
Deciduous shrubs to replant