We transplanted three Daphne shrubs to our garden. Now, it looks like only one will survive. Can you give us some advice about how to transplant these fragrant shrubs successfully in our Midwest garden?
Northern gardeners have best results when transplanting Daphne and other trees and shrubs in early spring before growth begins. Try to dig as large of a rootball as you can manage. Bigger is only better if you can lift, carry and plant your shrub with the rootball intact. In general a 2 foot tall shrub should have a rootball 12 inches wide and 9 inches deep. Dig a rootball 16 inches wide and 12 inches deep for shrubs 4 to 6 feet tall. Start the process by digging a trench slightly wider and deeper than the desired rootball. Use a sharp shovel to undercut the rootball. You may need to get out the loppers or hand pruners to cut through the large roots. Now is a good time to find a friend to lend a helping hand. Slide a piece of burlap under the plant, lift into a wheelbarrow or carry the Daphne to its new location. Set the plant in its new location. The planting hole should be the same depth as the rootball but wider. Cut or slide away the burlap. Fill the planting hole with the existing soil, water thoroughly, and mulch with shredded bark or woodchips. Keep the mulch away form the crown of the plant. Water often enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy. This is critical in the first season or two after transplanting.