How to Properly Transplant Your Shrubs

January is all about new beginnings!

That’s why there is no better time to evaluate your garden in order to prepare your plants for a brand new year.

This time of year is perfect for transplanting because the cooler temperatures allow for a stress free move.

This particular task is not the most exciting part of gardening, but the outcome is rewarding for both you and your plants.

Take the time to transplant your shrubs so they can thrive in the best possible environment.

This is the quick and easy on how to transplant a small shrub.

9 Steps to Transplant your Shrubs: 

Step 1:  Remove all mulch and pine straw from the base of the plant.

Step 2:  Dig a trench around the base of the root ball and be careful not to dig too close. 

I usually get super antsy during this step when my husband and I take on this job together. The roots are important to a plant and should be handled care.

*Tip: Locate any irrigation or water source prior to digging! I have burst many pipes due to my impatience.

Step 3:  Using the string, wrap the branches of the shrub similar to the way you would wrap a bow around a package. This allows you to see the area you are digging.

Step 4: Slowly press your shovel into the ground and work your way around the root ball.

Listen closely as your shovel enters the ground. You can hear when your shovel is hitting a serious root system.

Try to work your shovel around it without damaging the roots.

Step 5:  Dig a hole 3 times the size of the root ball.

Step 6:   Add soil conditioner to the bottom of the hole.

Step 7:  Place your shrub into the hole and be careful not to compress the roots. Imagine that the roots are legs and you want to be careful not to tangle them. 

Step 8:  Backfill with soil and make sure the root ball sits 1-2" above the ground and add pine straw or mulch.

Step 9:  Water the plants well to settle the soil around the roots.

This tedious task may or may not bear the most beautiful results, but it will be well worth the work in the long run.

Initially, the plant may even go into shock, but give it some time to recover and soon it will be even better than before thanks to its new and improved home. 


  •   Shrubs - We used Purple Pixie® Loropetalum


  • Shovel
  • Soil conditioner
  • String