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Transplanted Berberis - will it recover?

I recently transplanted a mature berberis plant, I dug up as much of the root system as possible. Before moving it I cut out the older stems and reduced its height, I replanted it and have kept it well watered and have mulched round it. However, it is looking very sad, the leaves are turning brown. Will it recover?

Comments (4)

  1. Grower

    Angie's Garden

    Hi Ian
    My experience in moving mature shrubs is somewhat limited but those that I have moved at the 'wrong time' of the year have been a success provided I kept up a good watering regime. That will mean a good deep watering not just a sprinkling over the surface with the watering can.
    Were you able to reduce the height considerably, this too I think will help a successful move. I don't know much about Berberis but I am sure they are tough plants since they are often recommended for hedging.
    Your plant will probably drop leaves since it is stressed, I moved a 6ft Buddleia globosa back in Autumn without pruning since I didn't want to lose the flowers and it looked terribly sad for weeks on end and although not looking 100% it is still alive and now putting on new growth. I kept watering all through winter provided the ground wasn't frozen solid.

    Hopefully another member with a bit more experience will be able to give you more comprehensive advice Ian.

  2. Grower

    Ian Crosland

    Thanks for that. I did reduce its height by about half, and I have been giving it plenty to drink. So I think it's just a case of fingers crossed

  3. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Ian, I did exactly the same thing earlier this year, except that I ripped the Berberis out of the ground from the "wrong" place in great haste, and bunged it in elsewhere with one hasty watering, and it's been fending for itself ever since.

    Like yours, it looked sad and brown for quite some time, but it's suddenly perked up and is growing new leaves - so I would say, be patient with yours, keep watering it (the ground is SO DRY!!) and well done, you did exactly the right thing by reducing the overall height - which helps to prevent it rocking about and loosening its roots - and by cutting out older stems, which should probably be removed every few years anyway, to keep the shrub bushy and luxurious.

    As they are more-or-less evergreen shrubs, we are not accustomed to seeing them losing their leaves en masse: but give it a bit more time, and with luck you will see some new growth on it soon.

  4. Grower

    Ian Crosland

    Thank you

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