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Hardiness Zone: 7b
Jean from Farmingville, NY
The best time to move a well-established hydrangeas bush is during winter dormancy-after its leaves have fallen. The most risky time to transplant a hydrangea is in the spring, right about the time its leaves are starting to emerge. If moving it now would be easiest for you, then go ahead and do it. It may take a season or two to reset its clock, but with a little TLC, it should survive the move just fine.
To transplant it, wait for an overcast day (make sure it's not too hot) and dig out as much of a root ball around the hydrangea as possible. More is better, as this minimizes the risk of inflicting irreparable damage to the roots. If the hydrangea is thriving in its current location, try to relocate it to a site that mimics the same conditions in regards light, wind, etc. If necessary, amend the soil at the new site and make sure it allows for plenty of drainage.
Water in the hydrangea well when you transplant it, and be prepared to monitor it closely for the rest of the summer. Never let it fully dry out, but take care not to water too frequently either. Hydrangeas appreciate plenty of water, but they don't like to stand in it. Don't give it any fertilizer for several weeks, or until you start to see new growth.
Here's a great link to step-by-step instructions for propagating hydrangeas. Because this plant is of great sentimental value to you, consider propagation in addition to transplanting the established plant. It's a great way insurance policy just incase you suffer some losses.
Yes, transplant it now if you can! Last year, I transplanted a large, well-established hydrangea in the middle of May, and it did well. (I'm in zone 6) This year it looks like it may bloom! My advice would be to dig up as much of the root ball as possible (as in, don't cut the roots if you can help it), and dig a very wide and deep hole for it in the new spot.
We need to transplant 2 hydrangea bushes as they have grown so large and high they covered up our window boxes and other plantings last summer. We couldn't get to them until now and they do have leaves on them. I wanted to see if it needs anything special to get them to grow in their new home where they can grow as high or wide as they like? Thanks so much! We plan to do this June 1 and are in southeastern Connecticut.
I so envy anyone that has luck with these gorgeous plants! I know they are super delicate, need just the right conditions, and best moved or planted when they are dormant. Help understanding that all is best explained in this link...
I am attaching a link to a zone map to help you figure out when your best bet is for this process.
The DIY network gives the best directions for how to make the process a success once you find your best time!
Sadly, you would think I would have great luck with these since I have read up on them just about every spring since I moved into the house. I have tried and tried....but in my case, it is about terrible soil and bad drainage in my yard...and I can't get them to grow. Two years ago, I finally gave up, planted some Ewe trees...even those have taken a long time to settle.
Good luck with your venture!! Enjoy those beautiful blooms!!