Too cold to relocate perennials?

I want to move some perennials and other plants around the garden. Fortunately, due to all the cold, they haven't grown very much, but I'm sure when the temperature does start on the up, growth will happen with a vengeance. However, I'm conscious that although the plants are growing (slowly), and daytime temperatures are above freezing, night time is below freezing, so I'm wondering if I should wait until both day AND night temperatures are above 0C before moving anything. The things I want to move are Geraniums, Aquilegia, Sedums, Ferns, and dig up, split and replant Crocosmia (which is already 6 inch green spikes). My soil is relatively light (sandy/silty loam) so is not cold like clay loam or heavy clay. I'm desperate to get in the garden this Easter weekend and it will be the last real chance I have until end of April.


  • Ryan LloydRyan Lloyd Posts: 391

    I personally would wait, just because although they have different levels of hardiness, if next week say the temperature suddenly dropped again, then you could be in danger of losing them. End of April will be just fine, make sure you give them a good feed when you move them though. In the menatime, why don;t you sow some seeds, thats basically all I'm doing at the moment (as well as buying new plants) image

  • cilmericilmeri Posts: 116

    Hi Tim, would agree with Ryan as this weather is so unpredictable.

    However if you need the space and can get your fork into the ground pot-up into new, warmed, pots and compost, and put into GH, until outdoor temps inprove.

    I did this a few years back with hostas, which were just showing though, wrapped the pots in flecce and held my breath. Keep them in the pots anyway to move around. Still looking good. Maybe I was lucky.


  • hope I'm lucky too, then. I planted some bare roots when the weather was warmer but then the cold snap started. They's just been dug up from someone else's garden.


  • Since the plants are dormant the risks are probably slight, and you could mulch heavily which is no bad thing in any case. If you are so stir crazy that you must celebrate Easter in the garden then go for it. Sorry to answer your question by giving you a choice. Let's start a referendum on it. So far 2 votes for, 2 against.

  • cilmericilmeri Posts: 116

    image good idea. watching this with interest.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Hmm. Not sure what current soil/weather conditions are in Woking (which I believe is where the OP is from). Maybe Tim Burr might consider pre-treating the prospective sites with cloches or similar to make the new homes a little more welcoming. And if that was done...I'd vote for moving. 

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,294

    I planted lupins that were grown from seed last year into the ground about 10 days ago before the snow and sub zero temps. Now the snow here has almost gone, it looks as if they are non the worse for wear. I also planted some aquilegia at the same time and they look ok too.

    I think it's the right time to move,plant and split perennials before they start really growing, I wouldn't do it if the ground was rock hard so I would hedge my bet and do some and leave some, especially if this only chance to get this done before the end of April.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,060

    I think the plants would be fine. But I'm not going out there to move anything until the temperature goes up.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    I move things as and when I want to regardless of anything else, so I would say do it when you want...  I just recently moved Aster 'Monch' to a new area, and Geranium 'Rozanne'.  Also dug up and replanted a Miscanthus....  these are all quite hardy and the Aster can be a fussy so and so in cold wet weather... but with good drainage - lots of grit - I'm not worried about them... they're covered with shingle...


    best do it now before we get a heatwave.... yes we are going to get one, courtesy of Kim Jong-Un if nothing else... 

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,294

    The little Lupins and Aquilegia look none the worse despite the snow and hard frosts. The crocus are still trying, if the sun shone for a day I might get to see them open

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