Best time to move Azalea bush?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by vicarious1, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    Hi We live on a hill in Burnaby facing south. We have a nice Azalea but that grows behind a tree towards the neighbours who aren't gardeners. When is the best time to move them and do they have deep roots. That plant must have been there for decades. Whats't the best process? Thank you
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hey, vicarious! Good to see you.

    Based on the assumption that you are in a cold climate area, you might wait till spring to move your azalea.

    Then there's this:
    Rhododendrons and azaleas growing closely among trees or large shrubs may not be possible to move successfully if they have been in their location for a long time and the roots of the various trees and shrubs have become intertwined.

    How entrenched is your bush? Could you get a professional opinion as to whether a move is feasible?

    If you decide that it is do-able, perhaps you could get help with the digging. Judging by your description the bush sounds massive and will require much excavation both in uprooting and relocation. Not easy work anytime---especially tricky on a hillside.

    You could dig the new hole for the azalea now, before the ground freezes solid, and have it ready for spring.

    The bush has lived there for decades---hopefully your neighbors can let it stay a few months more!

    Here is some information:
    https://www.rhododendron.org/transplant.htm
    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/or...elocating-an-azalea-bush.htm/?print=1&loc=bot

    If you can, give us a photo.
     
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  3. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    SW BC, including the Lower Mainland, is not considered a 'cold climate' area. Fall is a better time to transplant almost anything here because, in fall, we can expect several months for Mother Nature to take care of the watering. Most areas are Zone 8a or even 8b and, more and more, there are fewer days when the temperatures drop below freezing. Search 'weather statistics for Burnaby BC'.

    @togata57 has put together lots of good suggestions for you. Lately I've been hearing new advice from rhodo experts saying to plant rhodos (and azaleas, a subspecies of rhododendrons) at ground level or in a slight depression and then fill in around them with a suitable soil mix. I can't find a link for you tonight but I will keep looking.
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Ah-ha! Here's what I was looking for. From: North Island Rhododendron Society – NIRS – a chapter of the American Rhododendron Society (December 2017) This is an explanation of how species rhodos were planted in the new MILNER GARDENS RHODODENDRON SPECIES GARDEN in Qualicum Beach, BC consistent with newer methods of planting and transplanting rhododendrons and azaleas. Greig Rhododendron Species Garden | Milner Gardens | Vancouver Island University | Canada

    "The grounds of the Species Garden were prepared last year with a deep layer of sand, which raised the planting site. A shallow depression was made for the rhodo. Once in place, we back filled with a wheelbarrow load of sand, a scattering of compost (very little should be used), and applied bark mulch/chipped material liberally over top. So, basically the rhodo sits up above the path level, almost like a raised bed, which provides good drainage. The area is well supplied with water through an overhead sprinkler system."

    I would think that this might make it easier for you @vicarious 1 to find a new spot to move the azalea once you get it out of the ground. Saves you digging a big hole. Even if you can't get all the roots, you can hope it will survive and thrive if they are kept moist after it it's moved. It's quite amazing how many rhodos (azaleas) can be transplanted with significant root loss and not even seem to notice.
     
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  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I am not a horticultural expert - tho one detail comes to mind and that is make sure your chosen spot for this azalea is similar in shade / sun/drainage etc to existing today location where clearly it has enjoyed many years

    Prev post suggests you add plant photos and also some measurements - that would be great

    Margot’s links are interesting

    And I agree - I would do this move now

    And be gentle moving it - can you place it on a sturdy tarp and pull the tarp across your yard?

    Ultimately - from a lazy gardener here! - if the plant is doing fine where it is but just not showy enough on your side of property line - you could leave it and go get another and place the new one where your preferred spot is.

    Looking fwd to updates
     
  6. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Thank you very much. Only my back it getting lazier as it hurts more than more. I have adopted several Rhodos via Freecycle dot org and they are all doing very well ..didn't make a big fuss for replanting just a hole a bit a black earth and manure
    But Azaleas are VERY slow growers that is why one that is like probably the age of our home 50s ...its about 2m+ tall at some points. But my neighbour sees no harm in hacking down trespassing branches. We have a big Japanese Maple 1/2 Sphere shaped like 4m across and a variegated Holly 6m tall in front
    All this is on a slope so it's not difficult to follow (thank you Margot ) advise but the digging within the other potential roots is what really has kept me from trying till now. WE have another big one growing towards the other neighbour behind and in between a very tense like Xmas tree pine that's like also 6m tall and fat.
    Next sunny day I will go out and take some pics.
    I also rescued one dark peach Azalea that is rather in full sun so now I know why some of the branches are dying maybe so that one also maybe need to move although in Spring the bloom mixed in front of a Strelizia in a pot that I take out looks amazing
    Thank you very much for your time and opinions.
    Regards
    Vic
     
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  7. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    Hello next sunny day I will get pictures. Thank you so much for all your explanations. As we live on a 42 step up hill but with retaining walls the soil is very well drained. I have one Azalea growing along the steps within a flat type cypress (sorry bummer I think is Alz. I can't recall the name now) that is doing very well ..Bright wine red small flowers FULL sun south facing.
     

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