How To Transplant Hydrangeas

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:42 pm

Transplanting hydrangeas is not witchcraft if you keep a few things in mind. As a rule, the pretty plants will grow back in their new location without any problems.

Once planted, hydrangeas are best left in their location. However, if they get too big or just don’t feel comfortable in their old spot, it is sometimes unavoidable to replant the hydrangeas. If you do this carefully and keep a few things in mind, however, the plants usually handle the move well and will grow back well in their new location.

Transplant hydrangeas: The best time

How To Transplant Hydrangeas

If you want to transplant your hydrangeas, you shouldn’t just do it on a random day. The best time to do it is in the spring, when frosts are no longer expected. Also, ideally, choose an overcast day – that way the hydrangeas will handle the transplanting better because they will evaporate less water without blazing sun. That way, the move won’t weaken them as much.

Tip: You can also transplant some hydrangea species in the fall. These include, for example, the ball and panicle hydrangeas. It is important that the shrubs have not yet sprouted before transplanting.

Transplanting hydrangeas: step-by-step instructions

How To Transplant Hydrangeas

When the timing is right and you’ve found a suitable new location, you can start transplanting your hydrangeas.

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Take care of the new planting hole first:

  • Before you transplant your hydrangeas, prepare the soil in the new location. Loosen the soil and dig a generous planting hole. If the soil is compacted, clayey and impermeable, you should also mix in some coarse-grained sand. Tip: The diameter of the planting hole should be about twice the size of the hydrangea’s root ball.
  • Also loosen the soil and the sides of the planting hole. For this fine work you can use, for example, a digging fork.
  • It is recommended to place a layer of gravel in the planting hole as drainage. This will prevent damaging waterlogging.

The next step is to dig up the hydrangea:

When digging, keep in mind that hydrangeas are shallow rooted and develop many fine roots. They absorb water and nutrients through these roots. So you should be careful not to damage the fine roots.
Dig a trench around the hydrangea with a spade. The trench should be about the same radius as the crown diameter of the hydrangea.
Then carefully dig out the hydrangea. You should leave as much soil as possible on the root ball. Try to cut through as few roots as possible.

Finally, you can transplant the dug up hydrangea:

  • Transport the hydrangea to the new location. If you like, you can wrap a large bag around the root ball so that not too much soil is lost along the way.
  • Then place the plant in the new hole. It should not sit any lower than before.
  • Fill the planting hole with soil. It is best to tread the soil lightly with your foot so that no voids remain.
  • Water the hydrangea well after transplanting, preferably with rainwater. In the following weeks you should pay attention to a good watering. The soil must never dry out, so that the plant can grow well in its new location. To better retain the liquid and provide the hydrangea with additional nutrients, you can also mulch the surrounding soil.
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  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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