How to Transplant Shrubs
Shrubs are the cornerstone of many gardens and landscapes. They add depth, color, and fragrance to your outdoor space. They also act as barriers for flower beds, or cover for eyes sores, like trashcans or compost heaps. When you're transplanting shrubs into your garden or landscape, there are a few things to think about before you start on your project.
Shrubs come in many different shapes and sizes, and because of this, you must plan your garden layout ahead of time. Shrub species diversity gives you a lot of creative freedom with your garden but can also quickly become out of hand if you make decisions without planning.
Step 1: Planning Your Space-
Some shrubs- like lilacs- can grow up to 20 feet or more, while some stay small, grow slowly, and trim well to keep them at manageable heights.
When figuring out how much space goes between shrubs, take the spread distance of the fully-grown shrub species you plan to use and multiply it by two. Divide that number in half, and that is how much space you need for your shrubs to avoid overcrowding.
So, if you have a shrub that will spread between four and six feet when fully grown, we know that two plants would cover about twelve feet if right next to each other. So, to avoid overcrowding, plant each shrub at least five feet apart.
Step 2: Prepare your soil-
Proper soil preparation plays a huge role in the health of your new shrubs. Without adequate hydration, organic material, mineral content, and aeration, your shrub may struggle to establish itself.
• Once you have figured your spacing, rake your site free of weeds, rocks, and other undesirable items. Dig the soil bed up down to a depth of 8"- 12”, or at least the vertical height of your container or root system. This allows for nutrients, moisture, and air to mix in with the soil.
• Step on the soil bed you plan to use repacking in everything you just tilled up.
Step 3: Transplanting-
Container grown shrubs- When transplanting container-grown shrubs, first, you dig a hole to the depth of the very top of the container, and slightly wider. Once your hole is prepared, mix in compost or organic material into the soil that you dug out, and you are ready to go.
Before removing the shrub from the container, make sure to water the plant well.
Hold the plant by the base of the stem to take it out of the container and place it in the hole you have prepared. Holding the plant upright, fill the hole halfway up with your soil mixture. Once you fill the soil halfway, water the hole thoroughly to get rid of any air pockets and to help the dirt settle. Fill the rest of the hole, water again, and finish by packing more soil on top.
Balled-root shrubs- For balled root shrubs follow the same steps without removing the burlap sack surrounding the root system.