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Transplanting Hydrangeas

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by White Gardens, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Has anyone had any luck in doing this.

    These hydrangeas are your garden variety, old wood blooming hydrangeas. They have about the same structure as a limelight, only with a much whiter bloom. I'm going to do job for a customer who has existing bushes, that are at least 60 years old, if not older, that I want to incorporate into a new section of landscaping. I'm thinking that it might be hard to find newer plants that are exactly the same as these.

    I've always been told that hydrangeas are hard to transplant and generally don't survive, but I don't know if it's true or not.

  2. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 774

  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Thanks Keystone, but I already know how to transplant them and when. Got to give me more credit than that. :laugh: No, I do appreciate it, just ribbin ya.

    I'm looking for hands on experience and what the survival rate is for them, and any techniques used.
  4. EVM

    EVM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I never transplant ANYTHING during the growing season. I only transplant when the plant is dormant. I also explain how much it will cost to transplant a shrub vs buying a new one vs how many better varieties of hydrangea that are available today vs 60 years ago. I also tell the customer there is no guarantee on the transplanted shrub<-----You assume they will never water it.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    They transplant fine as long as they are watered in sufficiently and kept watered. They dry up and die quicker than anything I am aware of around here. I have taken roots caught in fabric home to experiment with and created a large hedge of the darn things.
    When I moved some of them out into the open , away from my normal garden area - they all died after one summer. Not enough water in the root zone out there. Oh well... lesson learned...
  6. The Elements Group

    The Elements Group LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    these are probably the Tardiva hydrangea also in general terms paniculatta..... if the blooms are whiter than limelight then it is Tardiva and yes you can find them good luck and yes they transplant fine......
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I'm just trying to avoid buying any new ones for the area, only because I want a perfect match to the existing ones. It's in a highly visible area at the front door, so if the look is off a little bit, then it will be highly noticeable as it won't be balanced at the front door. Any other area and I'd go to the nursery and buy new.

    I've already discussed all the issues with the HO, and she has no problems with me trying. The area in question is about 50% shade, so that will help too. I might also wait until the dormant season to transplant them, it all depends on how soon she wants that part of the job done.

    Thanks for the replies, just trying to confirm if the transplanting issues for Hydrangeas were really a myth or not.
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    WG, you can easily transplant them now. A large root ball will be very important and has been mentioned above, make sure they receive adequate amounts of water. I have had excellent success with the shrub sized tree gator, as these will allow a day or more between waterings, and all the water goes to where it is needed. You may have to prune them back to make the move easier, that is why now is a good time, they should recover nicely. Your blooms will likely be less prolific this season, but if your transplant is successful, next year they will be beautiful again.

    Whenever I transplant something, I inform the client that it's a 50/50 chance of life or death, but by digging a large root ball, transplanting with a little compost and a transplant aid like, Roots Transplant Step 1, Espoma Bio-Tone Starter Plus or one of the PHC products, my success rate has been well above average. I am constantly removing overgrown or incorrectly planted shrubs from client's properties, including hydrangea, and always make an attempt to put them into containers for later use or transplant into someone's yard that has the appropriate conditions and will appreciate the plants.

  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Awesome post, that's what I was looking for Kirk. I've been contemplating a trans planter for all the reasons you listed. This project has might be the reason to a tree gator.

    It's good to know that they have the potential to survive. It must be all "wives tales" about not being able to transplant them easily.

    I'd love to get out and do it right away, but the weather here has been killing me on installs. I can't remember when we've been this cold and wet in the spring. Water has been running out of fields like creeks. Normally they are dry most of the year. I've talk to a few other landscapers and nobody is doing anything.


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