Transplanting Rhododendrons: How To Do It

Transplanting Rhododendrons: How To Do It

Transplanting a rhododendron can be done without any problems. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You can find helpful tips in the article.

There are various reasons for replanting a rhododendron. Sometimes it’s just too lush for its space, sometimes it doesn’t thrive as it should. In other cases, it just doesn’t fit in the corner of the garden where it grows anymore.

No matter why you want to transplant your rhododendron, the following tips are sure to make it work.

Transplanting rhododendrons: The right time

Spring is the best time to transplant a rhododendron. This gives the plant time to develop new roots until winter. The optimal time is in May, after the Ice Saints, because then no more night frosts are expected. Alternatively, you can transplant the rhododendron in the fall, by the end of October at the latest.

The new location

Before you replant the rhododendron, you should look for a suitable new location in your garden. The plants like it in partial shade and protected from the wind. The soil should be free of lime and slightly acidic. A pH value between 4 and 5 is optimal, and rhododendrons prefer nutrient-rich, well-drained soil.

Tip: If you don’t know what your garden soil is like, you can take a soil sample in the garden and have it analyzed.

Transplanting rhododendrons: A guide

Once you have found a suitable location, you can start transplanting the rhododendron. First prepare the new place:

  • Dig a planting pit that is at least twice as wide as the diameter of the rhododendron.
  • Then thoroughly loosen the excavated soil. If it is not permeable enough, you should mix it with sand. Alternatively, you can get special rhododendron soil.
  • Water the hole well and let the water seep in.
  • It is advisable to create a drainage layer. Fill some gravel into the planting hole.
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Next, dig out the rhododendron. You should be as careful as possible:

  • Use a spade to dig a small trench around the rhododendron. This should be at least the same diameter as the crown of the plant.
  • Then carefully dig out the plant. Try not to injure any roots in the process.
  • Carefully pull the rhododendron out of the ground. Make sure that as much soil as possible remains on the root ball.
  • Transport the shrub to the new location. Place it upright in the planting hole. You should not place it deeper than before.
  • Fill the hole with the excavated soil and tamp it down.
  • Water the rhododendron well. It is best to use water that is low in lime or free of lime, such as rainwater. Read also: Collecting rainwater: How to collect and use it.
  • In the following weeks you should always water the transplanted rhododendron well. This will make it easier for it to grow. You can also support it with a layer of horn shavings or compost. Simply work the fertilizer into the soil superficially.


  • 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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