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Transplant Small Rhododendrons or Buy New Ones?

Posted by eliza0214 Long Island 7a (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 22, 09 at 9:52

I have a bare area where there used to be rhododendrons and/or azaleas, but they had to be removed to get at some pipes underground. (Not sure what happened to the plants that were removed; I wasn't here and a non-gardening relative was supervising!)

I'd like to move some existing rhododendrons to the bare spot. We have no shortage of rhododendrons -- we have about 3 acres of rhododendron-azalea-mountain laurel woods. There are some very small shrubs, ones that have grown up probably around the roots of older, long-gone plants.

My landscaper wants to just go buy new ones. I usually prefer to use what I have and recycle in general. Obviously it'd be more work to transplant, but would it be at all worth it? How can I sell this to my landscaper (he usually gets argumentative, but my problems with him are a different story)?. It just seems stupid to me to go buy rhododendrons when we have so many that are already adapted to our soil and micro-climate, and are happy growing under giant oaks.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Transplant Small Rhododendrons or Buy New Ones?

I've transplanted many, many rhododendrons. They have shallow root systems and are easy to dig up. as long as you can keep them moist the first summer they should do just fine.

I've moved some that are 4' tall by myself (I'm a small female with fibromyalgia, not strong)

I would not go buy new unless there is something you want that you don't already have....

RE: Transplant Small Rhododendrons or Buy New Ones?

The only advantage in buying new plants would be that you would then be assured of getting named varieties of known color and habit. If that's not important, by all means transplant the existing ones - who knows you may discover a unique and worthwhile hybrid.

RE: Transplant Small Rhododendrons or Buy New Ones?

When transplanting, if you can't get all the roots, you need to root prune in advance to cut off the long roots and develop a denser root mass. To root prune, just cut down with a spade around where you plant to dig. Then, wait several weeks or more.

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