Late fall and winter are perfect times 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:
Remove all mulch and pine straw from the base of the plant.
Dig a trench around the base of the root ball and be careful not to dig too close. The roots are important to a plant and should be handled care.
*Tip: Locate any irrigation or water source prior to digging!
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.
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.
Dig a hole two (2) times the size of the root ball and add soil conditioner to the bottom of the hole.
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.
Backfill with soil and make sure the root ball sits 1–2″ above the ground; then add pine straw or mulch.
Water the plants well to settle the soil around the roots.
Transplanting your plants 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.