Forum home Plants

Transplanting a big Azalea

FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
There is a lovely big azalea in my garden, it hasn’t flowered this year maybe because of the drought last year, but when it does they are lovely big bright red flowers, and the scent is gorgeous and hits you as you get within 4 feet of it. 

Only problem, it’s hidden behind two big camellias, you can only see that it’s there if you stand right in front of it!  I have no idea why it was planted there.  

Its at least 6 feet tall, maybe 7.  Is there any chance of me digging this up and putting it somewhere it can get the attention it deserves?  Am I likely to kill it if I try and possibly also the camellia?

Thanks for any advice!


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,309
    You can move them, but you just have to take a bit of care. I've moved established conifers at this time of year, but it's easier here with our general climate. 
    It's best to prune back, and that reduces the stress when relocating. It means you'll lose flowers next year, but that's just how it is, as a huge shrub like that won't establish readily.
    Ideally, you'd wait until it's relatively dormant - autumn or thereabouts, but it's possible to do it if it's well watered before lifting [and I mean really well watered] and well watered afterwards. Prepping the new site before you lift it, is also beneficial.

    You'll know best what your general weather and soil conditions are, and are likely to be in the coming months. If in doubt, leave it till autumn/winter. It's probably safer  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    I don’t mind waiting if that gives it the best chance, I have clay soil so would need to get some ericaceous compost to give it a chance I suppose. 

    How deep and wide wide do you think the roots might go?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,309
    The roots tend to be quite shallow, but may be tangled up a bit with all the other planting. You can also 'root prune' in advance of moving this type of large shrub, which just means digging down and creating  a 'slot' round the shrub, maybe about 2 feet in diameter, severing the roots, and allowing the shrub to send out more fine roots over the next few months, while still allowing it to thrive in the spot it's in. It then makes it easier to shift. 
    I think they did it on Beechgrove last year with a a Camellia, so you may be able to find it online.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    I would also try and root a cutting or two from it before moving just in case. Have a rootle around at the bottom of the plant and see if any of the lower branches have rooted. Sometimes that happens. If they have, cut them off and pot up or plant in another part of the garden. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    Thanks both, that’s really helpful advice!
Sign In or Register to comment.