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Re: Moving large hosta

  • Subject: Re: Moving large hosta
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 11:10:33 -0400

Hi Phil,
       I'm assuming your priority is maintaining the size of the plants. I
would tie the leaves up as Andrew suggested. This will make them fairly easy
to handle, but won't do any harm. It sounds like you can't plant them at
their new location this year. That being the case, dig so as to keep as many
roots as possible and keep the roots from drying out. Spray them and wrap
wet newspaper around them and put them into garbage bags. If you replant
before they suffer too much stress from drying, they should come up next
year as if they weren't moved. Keeping the roots of all plants from drying
out when they are out of the soil can have an important impact on how well
they grow after transplanting.
        If you have a number of these to move but can't plant them at the
new site, pots aren't the best answer. Some plants don't overwinter that
well in pots to begin with, and plants dug from the ground and potted are
even more at risk. I think your best bet would be to find a spot which you
won't be using for garden beds in the first year. Arrange for some soil to
be delivered. If you have voles there, lay some hardware cloth/ratwire down
and turn the edges up. Place the plants within the wire cages (or just on
the ground if no voles) and use the new soil to fill in above them. These
should do as well as if they had been moved to the new beds. In Spring the
soil will still be soft enough for you to move them easily. I don't think
you will see any decline if they weren't out of the ground too long.
       The business of cutting all leaves off as done by nurseries is
combined with heavy watering and feeding to grow plants larger. I don't know
if it would even work on large mature plants. It is dependent on heavy
watering and feeding to be successful and you may need a fast-draining mix
in the pots to keep them from rotting. Cutting leaves off without this will
give smaller plants. You will set them back 1-3 years in size.
                                           .......Bill Meyer

> I have several large clumps, 4-5 + ft across, that I want to move in one
> piece, i.e., without dividing.  Will be moved via a trailer.  This
> would me so much easier re handling etc, if  I were  to completely cut off
> leaves before digging.  Is there any problem here re: potential harm to
> plant?  I have this idea in my mind that this years foliage is necessary
> year for next years energy storage.
> Re: over wintering in pots. If I group pots 3-4" apart, and fill between
> pots and even slightly over the pot with mulch, can I expect them to get
> a zone 4A winter. Any other suggestions?
> Thanks  Phil .
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