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Transplanting Perennials

The Martha Stewart Show, September September Fall 2007 2007

The best time to transplant perennials and shrubs is very early spring or fall when the plant stops putting on top growth and new leaves. Heat and sunlight make perennials more active, so be sure to dig them up in early morning or evening to reduce stress on the plant.

Tools and Materials
Sharp shovel or spade
Plastic nursery pot or bag

Transplanting Perennials How-To
1. Soak the ground thoroughly, and trim the plant to a manageable size to avoid breaking stems in transit. Use a sharp shovel or spade to dig a good-size root ball; the diameter of the plant or shrub is a guideline as to where you should start digging. Put your hands on each side of the plant at the widest point, and then go straight down to mark where to dig.

2. Using a plastic nursery pot or even a plastic bag to transport the plant, keep them watered and replant in a new bed as soon as possible, but after no more than three days.

3. To replant, dig a hole larger than the root ball; place the plant in the new hole, making sure to keep it at the same depth as before. Fill in soil around root ball and gently pack. Water well and add mulch, but do not fertilize.

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