Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Moving a 10 year old Rose of Sharon

It needed room.  I had it in too small location.  This is a durable shrub, blooms well when other plants are wearing out.

I used the same approach as usual, so just posting pic of the shrub out of the ground, pruned and root pruned.  It lost a lot of roots, so I pruned the top back heavily as well.

Hard to see here, but the trunk is about 6 inches in diameter.  I've been pruning to keep it compact for all of it's life.  I suppose if I had not, it would be a tree now.

Not posting as a "how to" so much as a record for future reference.  I want to see if it survives.  I think it will be fine, but next year a but less vigorous due to root pruning.

Even without moving a shrub or tree from one place to another, root pruning is a legitimate technique to reduce vigor.  Not as extreme as this but I think it has adequate root to survive, and there is fall and early Spring to regenerate feeder roots before top growth commences.  The shrub will restrict its top growth based on the available feeder roots, so it be much more likely to survive than if I had done this while leafy.


  1. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Thanks for posting, this is the only place I have seen a totally cut back Rose of Sharon and your optimist expectations are encouraging. I saved and planted 3 that looked like this late last fall that someone else was disposing of. I'm certainly not expecting a flourishing bush this year, but my hope is it survived the transplanting and the brutal winter we just had. Nothing yet, its May 12 in Chicagoland, but hopefully my efforts will be rewarded soon.

  2. Glad it was helpful. Moving it and cutting those roots did set it back. Last year the new growth was 6 inches to a foot, and it bloomed with smaller flowers than usual. This year it is growing faster with thicker stems, so I think it is getting established.
    The first year after moving it the growth was very delayed. Much later than usual. This year is is earlier.

    I have seen some pretty big Rose of Sharon bushes moved. By moving older ones, you are saving some nice bushes and saving money. Good luck with yours.