Is it too late for transplanting hosta & other perennials?

judyswont(5a)October 16, 2009

Hi - I have been wanting to move a few things around before it's too late, but am wondering since we have now had frost, if I would still be safe to do so. I am in Barrie. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Judy, I've moved my plants around this time of the year, but this year, the weather has been rather unpredictable. So I would be still inclined to transplant but would advise you to check on weather forecasts on the weather network.

The thing is when transplanting you have to take extra care not to leave air pockets when backfilling the holes. Air pockets can get filled iwth water and in winter these become deadline because water turns to ice and ice can kill roots. Also important, mulch.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 8:10PM
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I wouldn't do it now. They won't have time to recover and settle in before the ground is frozen and may not survive the winter. Make a note of what you want moved and where exactly they are and where you want them moved to. It's Easier to remember where everything is and what you want to do, if it's written down. Move them in the spring when they first pop through the ground

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Thanks for the advice from you both. I guess I have another problem - today I was at a nursery which was selling off their perennials at a good price, so I picked up a "Big Sky" coneflower and a clematis - I'll have to plant them - any suggestions other than what you (Ianna) said in the above note?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 11:21PM
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I just sink them in their pots and put them in their permanent spots in the spring. There are always last minute deals that are too good to pass up or pots of various stuff that didn't make it to their assigned places.I still have two hostas and an epimedium from Mason Hogues 50% off sale sitting in the yard and next week I am doing a daylily rescue.There is usually snow drifting down onto my back as I put in the last few Costco bulbs or the peony from the Gardenimport clearance sale....I am talking late November here.Several months ago I finally planted a clematis that had spent 2 years sunk in a pot in my holding bed.Mind you, I wouldn't recomend this for every perennial....but the tough ones can be very forgiving.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 6:54AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Yea newine!! I, too, can't resist the terrific fall bargains, both perennials and bulbs. 70-80% off is always worth taking a chance on. I have found that most survive the winter despite the late plantings. Last winter I "forced" many pots of bulbs just because they were bought too late to plant outdoors, especially the narcissus. I had some beautiful large double ones that I never would have thought to force. They are now planted in my garden. I still have a few potted perennials (bought on sale) on my patio that need planting. A gardener's work is never done. Soon it will be time to start winter sowing.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Being in a zone 5/6, I still move things around and plant things at this time of year. If I'm 'iffy' about it, I will plant pot and all.

If bought, the size of the plant has a lot to do with my choice. I have 2 Azalea seedling which are 6 inches tall right now that will be going in with their pots, Yet I have an Azalea which is in a 2 gallon container which will go in the ground today.

Zone hardiness of the plant also plays a factor in my decision. Anything just hardy to my zones is kept in the pots. Anything hardier goes in the ground.

Time is becoming a factor for me as well. I have a holding bed where I place pots of plants which I may not have the chance to plant this fall. :O)

As a side note, if your Big Sky Echinacea makes it through the winter, consider yourself a lucky person. There has been some heavy discussions on the Perennial Forum about these plants not being as hardy as labeled and not performing as well as they should. My Sundown came through the winter, stuggled through the spring, and bit the dust in the summer after struggling for two years...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 9:11AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I had a Big Sky Sunrise that lasted several summers here in zone 3 - guess i was lucky. While it lived, it was beautiful and bloomed constantly through the summer. When i read that Judy had bought one, i gave a little sigh of envy. It would be nice to have a bed of echinaceas of all colours, wouldn't it? :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 9:54AM
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In our zone, it's perfectly okay like I said. However do mulch and do make sure you don't leave airpockets.

Heck I was forced to do massive transplanting in November because I moved to my new home then. (That included hostas ) Becuase the roots were already dormant, they all came out quite okay. Just mulch, and oh, I like using compost as mulch because I usually add new dirt in the new year and I hate to have to remove wood mulches in order to do so.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 8:47PM
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