How to Move a Hedge or Bush Without Killing It

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Hedges makes your garden attractive, but sometimes you need to move them to a different location.

This process called transplantation could be tricky because hedges comprise a lot of plants.

But, you can quickly move the fences without killing it, by following the steps given below.

Steps to Move a Hedge or Bush in Your Garden

Location of The Hedges

Where will you transplant the hedges?

The conditions of the new place should be the same as the location they are coming from.

If the new spot has a different living environment, the hedges might struggle to adapt to it. Plus, they will need additional care in this duration.

While choosing the new location for your hedges, there are several elements to consider.

For instance, you have to find a shaded spot if the plants grow under a shadow currently.

Then, you also need to consider the number of surrounding plants in the new area. Some of the plantations need more water than others.

It means the hedges might get a lot of water or live in scarcity, resulting in poor appearance.

Timing is the key

Picking the right season is crucial when we talk about hedge transplantation. The best times for this process is early spring or late Autumn. However, there are no thumb rules for the hedge movement because it depends upon individual conditions.

Keep in mind that tool cold ground might not allow the fences to expand their roots. Hence, it’s necessary to choose a season when the soil is warm. So that hedges can establish themselves without much struggle.

Transplant the hedges in Autumn, and they will be well fed due to the upcoming rainfalls. Plus, the nutritional needs of these plants are lower during this time of year. Therefore, they will not be highly stressed out due to the transplantation.

Prepare For The Transplant

Follow the given steps to offer the best survival chances to your hedges.

Pre-requisites: Flat spade, hedge trimmer or pruning shears, twine, sheet/burlap sack

Also read: Beginners Guide to Using A Hedge Trimmer

Dig a hole for your hedges: The cavity should be at least twice the width of the plant’s root ball. Plus, the pit should be deep to accommodate it.

You can get an excellent idea about the hedge roots by digging around their sides. But, do not damage the roots.

Do not dig a bottomless hole. Use the soil mark on the plants as a guide. Create the new pit before you dig up the hedges. Make sure the roots don’t rest longer without a home.

Drench the soil: Drench the soil puncture with water. Then, fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. This step ensures that the hedges get ample water once moved to the new location. Apply a layer of compost to promote healthy growth.

Prune the hedge: Take out dead leaves and branches from the fence. Pruning the hedge reduces the stress. You can use a mechanical hand shear or trimmer depending upon the plants. But, do not take out more than 20 per cent of greens at once.

Water the hedges: A necessary step, which ensures that the plants remain hydrated when you transplant them. So, water the plantation a few days before.

Dig up the hedge: Make sure the branches remain safe from all the movement in this step. So, tie them loosely using a rope to get some more room and make sure none of the greens comes into your way. If your hedges combine several plants, then transport them one by one.

Start digging 1 foot away from the plant’s base. Once the plant is free, put it on a sheet or burlap sack for easy transportation.

Deal with the roots: If you have to cut the radicles, then use a sharp knife or a pair of secateurs. Ensure clean cuts to reduce the stress on your hedges. Be gentle and try to save as many as roots you can.

Move the hedge: Place the plant to its new home and spread out the roots. Fill the cavity with a mixture of soil and compost.

Water the plant again and keep it repeating every few days. You can also add some mulch over the soil bed surrounding the hedge.

The mulch will slowly decompose to provide essential nutrients to the plants. This layer will also preserve the moisture, which helps the adapt the new conditions and grow.

Also read: How To Trim Hedges Into Shapes?

How to Transplant a Rose Bush?

Follow the process that we discussed above. Dig a big hole for the rose bush and drench it. Prune the bush, dig up and move it to the new location.

Make sure that the rose plants are at the same height that it was before. It’s one of the points that most gardeners ignore, but you don’t forget this one.

Fill the new hole with a mix of compost and soil. Water it after all the steps finish. You can add fertilizers to promote root growth to the water. Do not use any top growth fertilizer right now.

Add a little bit of soil around the edge of the new hole to hold water. Add more water. Water the bush twice a day for the next two days. Do not use any fertilizer. After a couple of days, add mulch on the top.

Also read: Hedge Cutting & Bird Nesting Season Laws

How to Transplant Hydrangea Bushes?

You can easily transplant the beautiful hydrangea bushes. The month of November is the best to accomplish this task.

Wait until their flowering seasons are gone, and then you can plan the big move.

After the transplant, we suggest you water the plants twice a day throughout the spring so that they can extend their roots.

When to Move Rhododendron?

Transplantation of rhododendron is easy, especially in the cooler part of the United Kingdom. Accomplish this task in early spring.

Move only young rhododendron because older ones could have a well-grown root system. Taking such plants of their home might damage their roots.


If you want to move your garden hedges or bush without killing it, you must be very careful in the entire process. Hope this guide helps you to understand the process. If you have any question or any suggestion please let us know to include it here.


About M H Sharaj

Sharaj is a passionate garden enthusiast and expert gardening tool reviewer with more than 5 years of hands-on experience. His love for gardening blossomed in his childhood, nurtured by weekends spent in his family's vibrant garden. Sharaj holds a degree in Management and enjoys the unique challenges and rewards of roof gardening. He combines his horticultural knowledge with a keen eye for innovative tools and equipment, providing readers with insightful, unbiased reviews. When he’s not testing the latest gardening gadgets, Sharaj is cultivating his own lush rooftop garden oasis, filled with a variety of plants and flowers. His mission is to inspire others to create beautiful, sustainable gardens using the best tools available.