Transplanting azalea

mack26October 30, 2009

I just moved into a new house and there are azaleas on one side of the driveway. On the other side is one lonely azalea that looks out of place. In the row of azaleas there is one open spot where one must have dies a while back and nothing replanted in its place. My question is, if I was to transplant the lone one to the open spot, what do I need to do, and how difficult/risky is it to transplant. The one I want to move is about 2 1/2 to 3 foot high and about 3-4 foot in diameter. What about pruning before moving? As far as bed preparation for the new site, what is best? And lastly, for all the azaleas, what should I be doing this fall to help them have the best blooms come the spring? Thanks for all your help.

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I'd be curious to know why one in a row died - if there is something about that particular piece of ground that is different and needs to be corrected....

A dense fibrous root system and habit of shallow rooting make them among the easiest of shrubs to move. You can assume the roots extend as far as the widest branches but you can take a somewhat smaller rootball safely if necessary for a manageable weight. Drag on cardboard or tarp, don't try to lift and have the weight of soil on roots damage those roots.

You can move them any time they are not in active growth (immediately after flowering) or the ground is not frozen - but I'm not familiar with your Fall/Winter temps. Best results may follow when you observe the timing proposed for planting new plants in your gardening zone...are you anticipating weather that would freeze ground any time soon?

Don't cut it back. If you have the opportunity now to add more organic material (compost) to the bed do that. Be careful not to plant any deeper than originally growing (if you've spaded through the area this may mean planting a little high to allow for settling), and apply a mulch over the root zone after transplanting to help conserve moisture, always important but especially so now to help prevent frost heave over winter.

Your azaleas set their buds for next Springs flowers in late summer - there is nothing you can do at this point to encourage more buds.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 6:03PM
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