Transplanting Shrubs in Summer
I have a forsythia and a lilac that I would like to move to a different location. Would it be harmful for them to be moved now, in midsummer? They have been in place for 3-4 years. I can't keep them where they are and I thought since they are still small I could cut them back, transplant, water them very well the rest of this season and they would take root in their new location. What would you think?
If you can, wait until early next spring, before any new growth begins and flowers appear, it will be easier on your plants. Early spring transplanting gives the plants time to adjust to their new location before the stressful summer heat and winter cold. Fall after the leaves drop is the next best time. Moving them midsummer is harder on the plant since the leaves are fully expanded and hot weather has arrived. Gardeners have done it out of necessity, it just reduces your chance for success. When you decide to move your shrubs, there is no need to cut them down, in fact the more leaves they have the more energy they will produce to help in a speedy recovery. Treat these plants, like they are brand new shrubs. Don't fertilize the shrubs for at least one year after transplanting. The fertilizer can injure the new roots and stress the plant by encouraging top growth instead of root development. Mulch the surrounding soil with bark or wood chips to conserve moisture and moderate temperature extremes. Then water thoroughly and often enough to keep the roots and surrounding soil moist but not soggy wet.
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