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Transplanting rhododendrons is not a must. If they thrive in their location, there is no reason to implement them. Unfortunately, there are often compelling reasons to move the rhododendron. If, for example, the soil does not meet the plant's requirements, or the plant has grown too large, the shrub should be given a new location so that it can develop well again. Since rhododendrons are flat-rooted, transplanting is relatively easy compared to other shrubs.


Rhododendrons can be transplanted in spring or autumn. It is important that the plant has enough time to root so that it can get through the winter well. That is why spring is slightly preferred to autumn for transplanting. If the rhododendron is transplanted in spring, the ideal time is mid-May after Eisheiligen. Because then no more frost is to be expected in this country. If the shrub is to move in autumn, the location change should take place between September and mid-November at the latest.

Tip: When moving in autumn, you should pay attention to when the first night frosts usually appear in your region. After all, the move should be frost-free.

If the move is due to fungi or diseases, you should not wait too long before moving. Such a justified change of location should also be carried out in autumn. This increases the chances that the plant will recover.


If the rhododendron is to be transplanted, the soil and light conditions at the new location must match the requirements of the plant. Because if the rhododendron does not feel comfortable in the new location, it will stop growing and flowering, and the plant may even die.

lighting conditions

Rhododendrons prefer partially shaded locations. Ideally, it is protected from direct sunlight by a shady tree. In addition, rhododendrons should also be sheltered from the wind.


The rhododendron places high demands on the soil. So the floor must have the following properties.

  • lime free
  • slightly acidic (pH between 4.0 and 5.5)
  • nutritious
  • permeable

If you do not know the pH of the new location, you can measure it with test strips from specialist retailers. A color scale shows you the pH value of the soil. You should definitely carry out a soil pH test if the soil in the old location is the reason for transplanting.

Tip: If the pH of the soil is too high, it can be lowered with rhododendron soil.

planting pit

Once the optimal location has been found, the planting pit must be prepared. The size of the hole depends on the size of the root ball. The factor 1.5 is used for calculation. For example, if the bale is 60 centimeters wide, then the width of the planting hole should have a diameter of 90 to 110 centimeters. Because rhododendrons need a lot of space to grow.

Tip: If several rhododendrons are to move to one location, also make sure there is a large distance between the plants. If they are too close together, they can interfere with each other's growth.

Once the hole has been dug with a spade, the surrounding soil must be loosened. Then the planting pit is filled with rhododendron soil. This is well watered before planting the rhododendron.

Tip: If the soil does not have sufficient permeability, it is best to create a drainage layer at the bottom of the planting pit.

Dig out

Care must be taken when digging. After all, neither the fine roots nor the above-ground part of the plant should be damaged. Proceed as follows so that you can carefully pull the rhododendron out of the ground.

  • Dig a trench around the bush
  • Diameter of the dig about three quarters the size of the shrub
  • pierce diagonally under the rhododendron
  • remove ingrained roots from the soil
  • Pull rhododendrons out of the ground

Tip: To facilitate excavation and transportation, you can easily tie the branches and twigs of the shrub together. If possible, no branches should be broken off.

Once it has been pulled out of the ground, the shrub and its root ball are transported to its new location.

Tip: If the rhododendron is 60 to 80 centimeters high, the root ball should have a diameter of 35 to 40 centimeters and a height of 25 to 30 centimeters.


When planting rhododendrons, it is important not to plant them too deep in the ground. Therefore you should plant the rhododendron just as deep as at the old location. If it is used too deeply, the roots suffer and, as a result, the entire shrub. The insertion depth best corresponds to the height of the root ball. Once the rhododendron has been placed in the planting hole, the remaining space in the planting pit is filled with rhododendron soil. The plant is then well watered with lime-free water. Finally, the ground is covered with horn shavings and bark mulch.

Tip: Outside of the root ball, you can lightly break up the soil before watering.


Repot tub rhododendron

If the rhododendron is cultivated in a bucket, it must be repotted if the planter becomes too small. The new planter should be about two inches larger in diameter than the old one. Since rhododendrons are shallow roots, it doesn't need to be too deep. The new planter can even be as deep as the old one. As with the garden colleagues, the new substrate must be lime-free, permeable and acidic.

Tip: If the rhododendron was happy with the previous substrate, then you should not change the composition.

Before repotting, you can cut back the rhododendron a bit. You should also shorten the roots slightly to stimulate new root formation. This measure also promotes growth.

Before the bucket rhododendron is placed in the new planter, the root ball must be well watered. Then insert it at the same depth as in the old planter. If it is used too deeply, the roots can suffer. Then press down the soil lightly and water the plant well.

Tip: Then fertilize only three weeks after repotting.

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