on the move
of this cooler period to move plants to a healthier spot in your
August is a great month for transplanting. Most plants are sitting
quietly and waiting for the weather to become warmer before they
start to make new growth. Gardeners can take advantage of this period
to move plants that may benefit from a new position in the garden.
Camellias are good examples.
Camellias flourish in the right spot, but tend to sulk or suffer
from leaf burn and bud drop if they're in too much sun or if the
soil is too dry. If a camellia is unhappy, a new position may be
the only thing that will save it. Many other plants, too, will benefit
from being moved.
The very first thing
to do is to select a better position in the garden. Sasanqua camellias
are very tolerant and will grow almost anywhere, but japonica camellias
prefer more shelter. Aristocratic reticulate camellias (pictured)
also enjoy shade when they are young but seem able to grow up into
the full sun as they mature. Reticulata camellias, with super-large,
full blooms and huge leaves, will eventually develop into small
trees and need plenty of room to spread.
So, if you've decided
you really need to move your plant and you've selected the new spot,
before doing anything else spend some time improving the soil in
the chosen position. Add a soil conditioner such as Yates Hauraki
Gold Peat Moss to the soil. Peat moss is acidic, natural, water-holding
organic matter that will help to keep the root system moist during
Dig a hole that is large
enough to take the root system of the plant. The size of the hole
will depend on the extent of the plant's root system, but remember
it will be almost physically impossible to move by hand anything
that's more than about a metre across. Mix in some organic matter
such as BioGold organic pellets.
Water well, and
allow the excess water to drain away.
Dig carefully around
the roots and lift gently with minimal root disturbance.
Wrap the root ball
with hessian or heavy duty plastic to hold it intact.
Move the plant
to the ready-prepared new spot.
Place the plant
carefully into the hole. Make sure that the plant is facing
the same aspect as before and that the roots are no deeper than
they were in the previous position.
Water well, making
sure you get the water into the roots.
Mulch with compost.
If the plant needs
support, place a stake on either side and secure the plant with
a soft figure-of-eight tie. Remove stakes as soon as possible.
If the plant is in flower
when you move it, you may lose some of the flowers, but when the
plant's long-term interests are taken into account this will be
a small price to pay.