While we're sure you're loving your garden right now, along with all your gorgeous perennials that are starting to bloom, if your precious flowers need a bit of shuffling or a new place to live all together, you may be a bit stumped on what to do. If that's the case, don't panic: we've got some expert transplanting tips to help make all your plant transitions as smooth as possible!
When Should I Transplant My Flowers?
You might not have the heart to move your favorite blooms, especially if they look happy and healthy and are blossoming freely right where they are. However, there are instances when a change of scenery might benefit your flowers, including:
- Outgrowing their place in the garden: Perennial flowers have a helpful habit of popping up year after year, but they can also sometimes show an exuberance of growth that will warrant a move to a larger space in the garden.
- Changes to their light conditions: Sometimes, a once sunny spot becomes too shaded with the growth of larger trees like maples or sprawling shrubs overhead, meaning any sun-loving flowers will need to be moved accordingly. Likewise, the cutting back of dense cover will mean any low light-loving plants living underneath will need transplanting to shadier areas.
- Changes to your garden design: Sometimes, it's nice to just change things up. Maybe you want to try out a different landscape design concept, or maybe some of your older perennials have died off, and it's time for something new.
- Planting mistakes: Don't worry; we've all done it before! Often, we don't realize we've planted bulbs in the wrong place until after they flower, so if you need to tweak your color scheme or move them to a more suitable area of your garden, you may have to transplant them.
- Moving house: Perennials can be pricey, so if you have to move house and can't bear to part with your flower family, dig them up and take them with you!
Can I Transplant Flowers While They're Blooming?
The simplest answer to this question is "no, but." A flower in bloom, or about to bloom, is putting every ounce of its energy into producing a bud and seeds. Transplanting your plant at this stage means it now also has to form new roots, something it doesn't really have the energy to do. So, if you really must transplant your flowering plants, you'll need to snip off all their existing flowers to help them focus their energy back into root formation. Spraying the plant's roots with a liquid fertilizer or root stimulator can also help prevent transplant shock during this process.
How To Safely Transplant Flowers in Your Bettendorf Garden
The best time to transplant perennial flowers and shrubs is when the plant is dormant, as this gives the plant time to settle into the new soil before active growth begins. You can also move plants in the spring or summer after any new growth has established itself, but be sure to follow these important tips for the best success:
Mind the Weather
When transplanting flowers, plan their move during overcast, cloudy, or cooler weather. Direct sunlight and hot temperatures can be stressful for flowers undergoing transplantation.
Wet the Soil
We recommend giving any plants you plan to move a good drink the day before transplanting. Make sure its new home is also thoroughly soaked and warm before shuffling to make the transition easier. We also recommend watering the plants at their roots during the digging-up process, since transplanting causes plants to lose a lot of water!
When transplanting flowers from the ground, you'll want to dig up as much of the root ball as possible. For most perennial flowering shrubs, you'll need to dig about 6-10 inches in diameter; however, some established perennials have roots that can spread surprisingly far and wide, so be careful! Also, don't forget to make sure the plant's new home is the same size as the old one.
Let it Soak In
Now that you've safely placed your plant in its new home, fill it in with top-notch flower soil like Coast Of Maine Planting Soil for Roses & Flowers, and make sure there are no spaces around the root ball. Afterward, you'll want to immediately give your plant another good soaking to help it settle in and continue to keep the soil moist for the first week or so to avoid stress. Wallace’s recommends an application of Fertilome Root Stimulator to help reduce transplant shock and encourage re-growth of roots. Now is also a good time to cover your flowers with a shredded cedar or hardwood mulch to help them retain moisture and heat after transplanting.
If you've decided it's time to transplant your flowers, following these steps is the best way to ensure your plants don't suffer unnecessarily. While we can't guarantee that all of your plants will be happy with their moves, these expert tips will certainly increase their chances of success. For more advice on transplanting or anything else flower related, come see us today!