Wait Until Cooler Weather To Move Shrub

by Ms. Grow-It-All on June 16, 2011

in Weekly Column Archive

Q: Awhile ago in your column, you recommended cutting into the soil all around a gardenia bush to encourage growth of feeder roots prior to moving it. We did this, as we have a gardenia bush that hasn’t thrived, I think, because it was planted too low in the ground. Now it’s June and time to raise or move it, and the bush is suddenly looking lush and healthy! Should we just leave it alone?

A: I’d leave it alone. Whatever was ailing it seems to have been corrected. It’s possible that the root-pruning allowed the gardenia to grow feeder roots closer to the surface, compensating for the fact it was planted too low.

If you decide you still want to move your gardenia, I wouldn’t do it during this extreme heat. Moving a plant creates stress on it, and so does high heat. You don’t want to overstress the plant, especially now that it’s looking healthy. Wait until fall if you do move it, and water it well until it’s established in its new home. But it sounds like you really don’t need to move it now.

Squirrel repellant: E. Messer sent an email with a tip for keeping squirrels out of your flowerpots and flower beds. “I read several years ago in Motor Home magazine that if you sprinkle blood meal under a motor home, the squirrels will not come around and eat the wires underneath the motor. We did this and each year I sprinkle blood meal in my flowerbeds and potted plants when I plant. The squirrels do not come around, as they do not like the smell of blood meal.”

Thanks. If anyone else has any tips for keeping squirrels (or deer or other wildlife) out of pots and planting beds that don’t involve firearms or other deadly force, email them to the address at the bottom of the column and I’ll share them.

Internet radio show: Leon County/University of Florida forester Stan Rosenthal will join Ms. Grow-It-All on Blog Talk Radio at 5 p.m. today to talk about soil amendments – what they do and what they don’t do. Join us at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ms_grow-it-all. If you can’t join us live, you can download a podcast of the program, or any of my previous programs.

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