Moving Fatsia Japonica

ziggyziggy Posts: 33

Hi have a Fatsia Japonica that has been in the garden for the past 5 years, it is now about 6 feet tall, and need to move it to another spot in the garden.

What the best time to move it and is it best to cut it down by a third before transplanting it to its new spot.

I take it that I'll probably pre prepare the new whole in the location with plenty of organic matter, dig it up and water it well in, but is it worth doing it now or should I wait til the middle of may??




  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 5,230

    The normal practice is to move evergreens slightly later than deciduous shrubs. This year there is the added complication of the weather, so I would wait until mid April.

    If I could stick a knife in my heart. Suicide right on stage
    Would it be enough for your teenage lust. Would it help to ease the pain?
  • ziggyziggy Posts: 33

    Thanks for your advice. Thinking by April then hopefully the weather would have warmed up, it's looking a bit sorry for itself at the moment with all the morning frosts.

    Would it be best to cut it down by a third or half, the stems are quite thick and didn't know whether this could be a bit hard for it at all.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 5,230

    You can cut them back as they regrow very well from the trunks. I dont think I would but that is not based on any evidence. Just give it some compost and fertiliser and keep well watered for several months after moving

    If I could stick a knife in my heart. Suicide right on stage
    Would it be enough for your teenage lust. Would it help to ease the pain?
  • ziggyziggy Posts: 33

    Thanks for that. I done some decking at the back of the garden which is about 5 metres long and is totally secluded so looking at putting the Fatsia there along with a Aucuba and Mahonia which are also well established. Looking at making a tropical feel at the end of the day, so at least I have a start.

    Have a look at got some good ideas on that.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,752

    Advice sounds spot on Ziggy. I had a Fatsia at the end of a deck too and it had a bit of shade and was in a good deep bed so plenty of goodness for it. It will look great with some cannas too for the jungly look if you like them. The contrast in foliage shape is really good. I'm hoping mine have survived their recent move and the weather. They were demolished last year by bunnies at my old house as soon as they started coming through but they lived! Good luck with it!

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    Ziggy - join it is a specialist site for those interested in exotics. Mainly UK based bunch.

    I would not cut it at all till frosts have stopped as that can cause rot.

  • tattiannatattianna Posts: 174

    Hi Ziggy, I moved my fatsia two years ago. I did cut mine down a by about a third as I was advised to at the time and was able to take cuttings from what I cut off. the idea being that should the main plant not survive the move at least I'd have another plant to replace it.

    Fortunately the plant did survive and I have 5 new, healthy plants to boot image

    What I will say is that we were pleasantly surprised how shallow the roots actually where considering it was such a mature plant but boy was it heavy! My husband and I move it between us and there were times when we didn't think we were going to be able to move it. Well worth the hard work though as it looks much better where it is now. Good luck

  • Could someone tell me how far AROUND the Fatsia they dug ? Mine is in a patch of earth edged with beach cobbles - outside of that, it is lawned area and I really hope I don't have to dig many feet away from the base of the Fatsia ? This would mean digging up my lawn. I was hoping to just dig inside of the flower bed area where it is planted

  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,183

    I don't know whether this applies to Fatsia or not but the general rule of thumb was that the  the roots of a plant usually equated to the the foliage canopy........i.e  I if you wanted to dig something up, you would generally take it that the roots spread as far as the canopy.

    You can cut mature Fatsias back and they will ( or should)  re shoot ..........if you move a large one at this time of year, it will lose a lot of moisture and may not be that easy to re establish......Depending where you are, it could be a better bet to move it in autumn.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,752

    If you need to dig a bigger hole to get the fatsia out, peel the lawn back in turves - but you'll have to get some topsoil to fill the hole back in with and tamp it down firmly before folding the turves back. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
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