Saving Perennials During Construction

slr38May 21, 2008

We will be tearing down our home this September to make way for our new home. Since the entire yard will be excavated I was wondering how I might save some of my perennials.

Our rental home home will not have a basement but it does have an unheated garage. A few of the perennials I have are Hostas, Ferns, Hydrangeas, Clematis, Delpheniums, Lillies and Irises. The new home should be ready the following fall.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks for the help!

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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

We were in a similar situation a few years ago. I dug up some of my most cherished plants and took them over to a friend's place and planted them there for the year. They did well in the transfer, and my friend got to keep some new shoots for her own garden. Storing them in the garage will be very hard on the plants. They need sunlight. Often construction takes a LOT longer than originally anticipated and promised. "Look after the living", I have always said.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 2:53AM
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Can you create a holding bed at your rental place? I would suggest it. Perennials do require outdoor exposure to remain healthy. You could pot them up and store them in the bed topped by mulch - until such time you are ready to bring them back to your new place. To make it more flexible, if you anticipate delays, create a second holding bed at your old place so you can easily transfer the potted plants there and replant them the following spring.

With exception of the clematis, the rest of your plants will divide well. As for transplanting mature clematis, I do not know for sure - but give it a try anyway. Take as much roots as possible. Cut down the stems to a manageble size.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Thanks! I will give that a try.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:59AM
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I have a patio being installed (stamped concrete) in a few weeks. It will extend into a portion of my current garden, so I need to remove what I want to keep. Unfortunately, it is spring and my bulbs are blooming but very little else is actually starting to poke through the soil at the moment. I noticed one sedum that just started to grow it's greenery. Everything I have read so far seems to indicate that spring is not a good time to remove and transplant plants. So do i try or do I assume that all is lost?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 3:23PM
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you could technically transplant plants anytime, but preferably do it while the plants are dormant. In this case Wheeley, best to take a large root ball disturbing the roots as little as possible. Sedums do have retain good moisture in their leaves and have a very good chance of survival. Sedums so easily propagate using stem cuttings alone. Last year I propagated several plants from one plant(autumn joy) by sticking stems directly in the ground. This plant has a high survival rate.

Tulips are still fine for as long as you do the same thing. My thoughts on this however is that most tulips do not perform as great as their first year of bloom in your garden which is why the Dutch practice replanting new bulbs every fall. Might just be too much trouble trying to save them. However - like I said, it's up to you.

If there are plants that have not come up yet - then it's still dormant and therefore it's the best time to transplant them. They basically won't 'feel' a think when they 'wake up' in a new place.

For larger plants that already have leafed out, give them a good drink of water the day before - just to give them enough nourishment before transplanting them.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:03PM
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