Gardening Answers Knowledgebase
Knowledgebase record #63
Some friends of mine just bought an old house with a huge rhododendron up against the house. It is at least 8 feet high and probably 10 feet wide. I did not dig around and there may be multiple shrubs growing next to each other. What are the chances of moving the rhody successfully? Should it be cut way back before hand? Any particular time of year for moving it?
Fortunately, rhododendrons are very likely to succeed in being transplanted. Most experts recommend fall as the best time to transplant. Spring or late winter is second best.
The real challenge is getting a large enough rootball. A five-to-six foot plant requires a rootball of about 3 feet in diameter.
Step 1- dig a 12-18 inches deep trench around the rootball.
Newly transplanted plants need some tender care and especially need to be watered regularly, but not over watered.
There were no recommendations to cut the foliage back. But it is always ok to prune out dead, dying, diseased or deranged stems. This also means you can prune out twiggy growth.
This information comes from Success with Rhododendrons and Azaleas by H. Edward Reiley (1992).
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