Q: I am needing to move some 7-year-old gardenia bushes, hoping to use them to make a hedge as they have grown at least 5 foot tall up against the house. Can you reccommend what time of year to do this, and the best approach to do the least harm to them?
I was thinking of hiring someone with a little bucket scoop thing, but was curious are bushes like trees, in that the roots grow about as deep and wide as the bush part above ground? Thanks for your help.
A: Gardenias can be a little touchy to transplant. If you choose to do it, be aware that you will need to look after them carefully for a couple months – and also realize you may lose them.
They should be transplanted when temperatures are cooler – in early spring just before new growth starts or in the fall after all blooming is over.
As far as the root system goes, different plants have different root growth “patterns” and so it is hard to generalize over all trees or all shrubs.
With that said, shrubs are often not as deep-rooted as trees. And gardenias, in particular, have somewhat shallow root systems, which is why you really have to water carefully when you transplant.