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Moving plants generally

wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

Have planted things in the wrong places...lots of things are growing at rapid rates and I've realised I need to move several plants including two roses, two oriental poppies, lupins, big cowslips etc!

Even plants in the pots are growing rapidly - many of these need to go in the ground if I can find space.

When is the best time to do this? now or when things have died back? The biggest issue are the oriental poppies which have collapsed in a big mess even though there are unopended buds. They are flowering on the floor. They also need dividing. Do I need to dig them out completely to do this?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited: 04 June 2017 08:19:29


  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003

    Be careful moving plants while in bloom, I recently moved a very overgrown, woody, flowering perennial wallflower 'Constant Cheer', it died, but luckily I took 6 cuttings which have rooted.

    The plant in pots should be ok, be sure to dig a much bigger hole to receive them, so there is less disturbance to the root ball, which may need teasing out if it is very tight.

    If the lupins are only a year or two old, you will get away with moving them, just take as much earth as managealbe with them when replanting, I transplanted 2 flowering 2 year old lupins last week, they are doing fine, but I did remove all the flower stems from them, even the tiny baby ones. I may be lucky to get a second flush later in the year, as with the older lupins.

    Last edited: 04 June 2017 09:25:14

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,641

    Water them well before, cut flowers off and trim back leggy growth when you replant, water them well after. Most things can be moved and at almost any time if you get enough soil out to avoid disturbing roots (which is why plants in pots are generally easier). If you take your time and are careful, it is possible. BUT it is better to move plants when they are not flowering, if you can.

    To divide the poppies yes you need to lift them completely out of the ground so you can see the whole root ball and chose where to split them so you get root and shoot in every section. It's probably late to do this now so maybe better to attempt damage limitation for this year (keep taking the flowers off and give them a feed, let them rest for this season and accept no flowers this one year in the hope of more and better flowers next year) and divide them next spring. You can take root cuttings in the late summer if you want some insurance - there's lots of info on the RHS site how to do that image

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Thank you both so much for these detailed instructions

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Your oriental poppies need staking. Or should I say, needed staking. That's why they have collapsed. You may be able to lift them up carefully and put stakes in. My orange poppies don't need staking but others like Patty's Plum do. 

    The best time to move plants is at the end of the season when they have finished flowering or whichever comes first. If you do move them outwith autumn and spring, make sure they are well watered for all the summer months and remove any flower buds. You want them to grow more roots rather than waste the available energy on flowers. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    You know what happened hogweed - the oriental poppy is very established and we had actually put bricks underneath to hold it up. At that point it was fine - pretty upright. Then I one day took the bricks out and the whole thing became a mess. I shouldn't have done that. We tried to put the bricks back underneath and also tried a semi-circular plant support, but it didn't work. I'll wait til end of the season now. Thanks for the good advice.

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