Moving Shrubs



I live in the Toronto area and would like to move a viburnum plicatum, Summer Snowflake, that is about four feet high and has been in its current location for about 5 years. The flowers are starting to form. Can I move it now, or should I wait until the fall or next spring? Which is better?

I read your Gardening Guide on dividing perennials, should I follow the same procedures for moving shrubs ( minus the dividing part of course!)

thanks for your help


The best time to move any shrub is when it is dormant, so for the viburnum the best time would be late winter or early spring. Although you could also transplant it in the fall after the leaves have dropped, but spring relocations generally have better results.

Yes the instructions provided in the Dividing Perennials Guide has some good practical advice for planting any perennial. For your viburnum ensure that you water it well about 3-5 days prior to the move. When digging the plant up try to get as much of the rootball as possible. Dig a hole slightly bigger than required and ensure that you place the plant at the same height in the soil as it was situated previously. Fill in the hole with good soil and compost, and tamp down to ensure that there are no air pockets and water for at least an hour. Mulching the area around the plant will help it retain moisture and ensure that it doesn’t dry out while establishing itself in the new location.

Enjoy your Summer Snowflake!