Forum home Plants

Moving plants

hey all. I’ve suffered the new gardener issue of planting a bit too snug. I’d like to leave the hebe but I think the mahonia needs to move - do we think? The fatsia is really sad too, I’m hoping it’ll come back in spring but I’m worried it’s a little sunny. Would it be ok to move the mahonia now??


  • Hi, I'm guessing as a newbie gardener that they haven't been planted for that long. If it's only been a year or maybe two then they should transplant quite easily as it won't have established a really large root system yet. 
    It's a good time to move plants and you basically prepare the new spot for it, tease around the plant, getting as much root as possible (again if it's within the last year you might be able to get it all) and replant in the new spot. Give it a little tlc over the next few months and it should be fine. 

    We had to move a massive fatsia twice in the last two years for unforseen reasons and because it had been in its original place for 15 years or so, we only managed to get a fraction of the roots. It dropped a few leaves but has thrived since because they are tough as old boots.  
  • I guess it could depend on where you live, but I started moving shrubs around, including a mahonia, 2 weeks ago.   I’m in S Wales.  They all seem to be ok so far ……. fingers crossed! 
  • Thank you!! @thevictorian and @Welshwindyhills really helpful. I’m in London. The garden is south west facing but we have a massive building behind and lots of oak trees so we’re in full sun until 1pm then dappled at best 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    They're all far too close together  :)
    Move the Mahonia and the Fatsia, and find somewhere shadier for the latter. The Mahonia won't mind where it goes, but it would easily fill that space between the Hebe and that other grass.
    They both become large shrubs. If you keep them compromised by constantly having to squeeze them into too small a site, you lose the overall benefits of them. 
    Fine to move them now if the conditions are suitable - ie no frost/ice etc in the immediate forecast.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Great - thanks again @Fairygirl you really are such a help! I’ve never had a garden before, when planting they seem so tiny and spaced but they seem to have thrived! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    You're not the first and you won't be the last to make that mistake @steven.g.garner ;)
    I think some of this comes from those TV shows where they bung plants in close together for impact ,and it gives the impression that it's the way to do it. They often use mature plants, which always makes a difference, but if they use smaller/younger plants, they shove loads in to cover the bare ground. They rarely go back to see what it looks like a few years later!
    Fatsias can be pruned to keep them contained, but they're such impressive, architectural plants, that it's a shame to do that. The whole point of them is to give a bit of impact. They certainly don't like too much sun, although there's a couple of newer ones which I think are more able for it, but some of them are also not fully hardy. If you have the standard F. japonica, a bit of shade will help it, and prevent it getting bleached. 
    Mahonias can also be pruned if they get a bit out of hand or have some damage, but again, if you have one of the more common ones - Charity or Winter Sun, they can make a couple of metres in height, and near enough that in width. I gave mine a bit of a tidy last summer, just to contain a few wayward stems, but it's been in there around 6 years or so, and was about five or six feet in height. It was about the size of yours when I bought it, and has no attention, food etc. The odd bit of bark mulch now and again  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Planting distances are one of the most difficult things to work out, especially when you are new to gardening. I went to a talk by a Chelsea Gold Medallist  and he admitted to getting a bed of tall grasses wrong. They had grown to twice the size he had expected, aspect, soil, rainfall can all affect growth.  Information you receive when you purchase a new plant is only a guide. Never buy a plant unless you know where you are going to plant it [lots of forum members will laugh at this one as everyone is seduced by a lovely plant they cannot grow at sometime] save your money for what you know will grow in your conditions.  
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • Thanks again @Fairygirl and also @GardenerSuze. Lots to learn! Pic attached, though you can’t see much. But I have a flamingo Salix that was given to me. This is currently in shade so I may swap that to go where the fatsia is. It’s actually a little damp that side of the garden also which I think willows like? 
Sign In or Register to comment.