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Timeline Through Landscape Design

A blog to guide home gardeners with seasonal landscape improvements.
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Fall Landscape Improvement: Transplanting Perennials

Posted by Nancy Kreith -

Welcome to my new blog! Thank you for showing interest.

I will be writing and posting photos about my seasonal landscape improvements here. Please contact me if you would like me to post on certain topics.

I have been observing my landscape and noticed some room for improvements with my groundcovers. Since the landscape installation three years ago, I have wanted to transplant my coral bells to another area. I felt the plant was out of place next to my other groundcovers of sedum and pachysandra that have been rapidly spreading. The texture and color scheme also looked off to me (see photo 1). Additionally, I expect the pachysandra to fill in the area once the coral bells are removed. I'm sure a mass planting of pachysandra will give my landscape a more cohesive appearance.

So, today I got to work, being that now is the time to transplant perennials.

It is best to transplant perennials while the weather is still warm in late summer or early fall. This way the roots have a chance to become established before winter sets in. With my pruning shears, I simply trimmed back the coral bells by half (see photo 2) and dug up the plant, keeping the root ball intact (see photo 3). I found a new location for the coral bells (partial shade) and dug a hole large enough to hold the root ball (see photo 4). I was careful not to bury the crown of the plant which would make it prone to rot. Last but certainly not least, I watered the transplant well to help it settle in to its new home (see photo 5). I will continue to water the plant throughout the fall, about two times per week if it does not rain. Luckily, fall is a rainy season in northern Illinois. The transplant may look sad now, but with the right watering it will bounce back in no time.

Check back to see how the coral bells are progressing and for other landscape improvement tips.

For more information about transplanting perennials click here.

photo 1 – Coral bells out of place next to pachysandra

photo 2 – Cut back coral bells by ½ (it's all about balance: maintain even roots-to-shoots ratio)

photo 3 – Dig up transplant with root ball intact

photo 4 – Choose an appropriate location and dig a hole large enough to support roots

photo 5 – Plant transplant and pack down soil, then water well throughout fall


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