False Indigo Plants

Moving False indigo

Zone Schaumburg, IL 60193 | Anonymous added on June 16, 2018 | Answered

I have a plant that is about 3 years old. This is the first year that it bloomed and it was gorgeous. Sadly it is too large for the spot it is in. I have an area available that will give it the same amount of sun, etc. and the space it needs. my question is how is the best way to move it without harming it. It really cannot stay in the spot it is in now. Must I wait until next spring? I would rather move it as soon as possible. Thank you

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 17, 2018
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Answered on June 17, 2018

Baptisia is a plant with a taproot and this makes moving them quite difficult. It sounds like you know that now is not the time for such a risky effort: weather is working against a successful move. If you end up moving it now, there are steps to make it easier on the shrub. Water the plant well the day before the move. I would remove some of the stems to the ground and gently corral the remaining stems with twine. This makes digging easier and lessens the chance of breaking the fragile stems. Dig a hole in the new location; it should be only as deep as necessary to accommodate the rootball and 2-3 times the width. Mix some compost into the dirt that was removed. Dig as deep and wide a rootball as you can manage. (Put it on a sled or piece of plastic to slide it to the new location.) Verify the new hole is the right depth. When backfilling the dirt, stop to water several times. You must construct shade so the plant only gets early morning sun for 3 days, longer if it continues to wilt. Use a sheet and poles or leaf bags and long sticks - anything to block sunlight. Don't fertilize: the plant needs to recover then concentrate on root growth. Keep it watered in dry weather all the way through fall. Baptisia is easily grown from seed. Delay the move until seed pods ripen so there is a back-up plan.

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