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We've got a large potato bush that we would like to move from one part of our yard to another. Are there any special steps that we should take to ensure a successful moving?

The bush is 8-10 feet tall at this point and just doesn't work where it is any more.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Transplanting any plant (shrub) during the summer months isn't the best thing you can do for your plant, unless you really have no other choice as to the time of year you can move it. The stress of the move & the heat of the summer makes for a powerful combination that can very easily result in failure (death of the plant).

I would personally wait until early to mid Autumn (Fall) before transplanting. If you can wait until that time, I would start preparing the new spot, IE Dig the soil, add in any appropriate medium to get the new planting area ready.

  • When you do move the plant, dig all the way around it and as far out from the plant as you can, you want to limit the damage as much as possible to the root system.

  • If you have to move the plant a reasonable distance, it would be safer, easier (for you) and better for the plant (considering it's of good size) to work a tarp under and around the root-ball (added benefit of keeping the root-ball encased in soil during the lifting and moving processes). Then when moving the plant, pick it up (manhandle it) via the tarp.

  • Dig the new hole only as deep as you have to, IE When you put the plant in the new hole it shouldn't seat deeper in the soil than it did previously. Also dig the new hole twice as wide as the root-ball you managed to remove from the ground.

  • Back fill the hole with the material you dug out, making sure you heel it in well as you go.

  • Then give it a long, slow drink, you really want to water it in well.

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Awesome, thanks. I'll see if I can get the wife to agree to postpone the move until later in the year. The plant is only being moved about 30 feed, but the tarp idea if a great one. Thanks again. –  mrdenny Jul 11 '11 at 20:00
    
@mrdenny, no worries & good luck, especially with getting the boss aka the wife to agree with postponement to a better time of the year :) 30 feet isn't too far to move it, but far enough (& considering the size of the shrub) that I would use a tarp. –  Mike Perry Jul 11 '11 at 20:05
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