How can you safely and correctly transplant hydrangeas? They can grow into fairly big shrubs, so you can’t always keep them in a pot, or maybe your plants need a better place to flourish optimally, where soil and light conditions are more suitable and healthy for it.
In any case, you need to know exactly when it is best to replant a hydrangea, why it may be necessary and, finally how to transplant hydrangeas.
If you need to relocate hydrangeas, good preparation is key. So this is exactly what we want to talk about, with clear but detailed instructions, and also some tips collected through years and years of experience. So, let’s start!
Why You Should Transplant Hydrangeas
We can start with the reasons why you should consider transplanting your hydrangea shrub.
If you notice that your hydrangea is not well in their current location, it may be the case that you need to change its place. But in cases like yellow leaves, spots on the foliage, pests and other disease, first try treating it and even feeding it.
Why You Should Change the Position of Your Hydrangea in your Garden
In fact, transplanting a hydrangea should be a last resort. While they are strong shrubs, this process can cause stress to them, especially if they are adults and large.
The place however, may be wrong for many reasons:
In these cases, try feeding your hydrangea, shading it if necessary, but if the problem is serious, you will need to find it a new place to relocate your hydrangeas.
Then again, you may just want to change your garden layout; if you do, please try to act when the shrubs are small; they will adapt better and recover faster from the stress.
And now you know why you may transplant your hydrangea. Let’s see when.
When It Is Best To Transplant Hydrangeas
By far the best time to transplant hydrangeas is when they are dormant. This is the period that starts late in fall, when your hydrangea shrub drops its leaves, and it ends as soon as you see new buds growing on the branches.
Then again, if you live in a cold region, try to transplant hydrangeas in fall, so the root system of the plant has time to adapt and prepare for the winter. Relocating hydrangea in winter when soil is cold, can adversely affect affect the plant’s ability to adapt and it may even suffer and become ill.
If you live in a warm region, as long as it does not freeze, you can transplant hydrangeas in winter as well.
Basically, you need to be adaptable, choose a time when the plant is dormant, but avoid very cold days.
For this reason, when you notice that, for example, your hydrangea is not growing and it has poor blooms, you want to give it some temporary help and wait for the best time to move it to a a new home.
But can you transplant hydrangeas at other times? Yes, but even here we need to make a distinction:
In any case, the worst time to transplant a hydrangea is summer, when it’s in bloom. So, even if you have picked it up in a garden center because you loved its flowers, it’s better keep it in its pot until they are spent, then plant it.
And now it’s time to get into the details of how to transplant it.
How To Safely And Successfully Transplant Your Hydrangea
There are some key steps you need to take to make sure that you transplant your hydrangea shrub the right way.
1: Prepared Hydrangea Shrubs For Transplanting
To start with, do not water your hydrangea before transplanting it; the soil should not be fully dry, but only just about a bit humid. Otherwise, the soil will be too heavy, and it will fall off and make your work harder.
2: Dig a Hole in the Garden Bed
Now you need to prepare its new place…
3: Gently Dig Out The Hydrangea Bush
Now you have a new home for your hydrangea, the next step is to remove it from its current position. And here too, there is a difference if it is in a container or in your garden.
And in case your hydrangea is growing in the soil, here is what you need to do:
4: Minimize Disruption Of The Root System
Now you hydrangea is ready to go to its new place… This is the most rewarding part of the job…
5: Replant the Hydrangea Bush
And now it is really time to replant your hydrangea in place!
How to Repot Hydrangeas
That’s about it, but if you are repotting your hydrangea, there are some small differences. And here they are:
Now your shrub is in place, let me leave you with some tips to help it settle in…
How To Care For Your Hydrangea After Transplanting It
Some aftercare can go a long way in helping your hydrangea grow well, healthy and produce lots of blooms. Here are some tips.
If you have planted your hydrangea when it is not dormant, it will drop blooms or leaves; do not worry, just help it along by removing them; in this case as well it is simply directing energy to the roots and to its growth.
Keep an eye on your hydrangea after transplanting, do it as we have seen in this article, and you will have a healthy, happy and blooming shrub for years to come!
After many years as an academic in London, Adriano Bulla became a writer, publishing books like A History of Gardening, Organic Gardening and Elements of Garden Design; he then decided to become a gardener, following his childhood dream, and has been following his dream writing and gardening professionally in Southern Europe, where he has specialized in new and innovative organic gardening fields and techniques, like permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests and hydroponics.