Camellia Transplanting: Learn How To Transplant A Camellia Bush

(Image credit: LukeLuke68)

The beautiful blooms and dark green evergreen foliage of camellia plants win a gardener’s heart. They add color and texture to your backyard all year long. If your camellias outgrow their planting sites, you’ll want to start thinking about transplanting camellias. Read on for information about camellia transplanting, including tips on how to transplant a camellia and when to move a camellia bush.

When to Move a Camellia Bush

Camellias (Camellia spp.) are woody shrubs that grow best in warmer regions. They thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. You can buy camellias from your garden store during winter. If you are wondering when to transplant or when to move a camellia bush, winter is the perfect time. The plant may not look dormant, but it is.

How to Transplant a Camellia

Camellia transplanting can be easy or it can be more difficult depending on the age and size of the plant. However, camellias generally don’t have very deep roots, which makes the job easier. 

How to transplant a camellia? The first step, if the plant is large, is to do root pruning at least three months before the move. To start transplanting camellias, draw a circle in the soil around each camellia bush that is a little larger than the root ball

Press a sharp spade into the soil around the circle, slicing through roots. Alternatively, dig a trench in the soil around the plant. When you are done, refill the area with soil until you are ready to transplant. 

The next step in camellia transplanting is to prepare a new site for each plant. Camellias grow best in a site with part shade. They need well-draining, rich soil. When you are transplanting camellias, remember that the shrubs prefer acidic soil too. 

When you are ready to start, reopen the slices you made around the camellia when you did root pruning and dig them even further down. When you can slip a shovel under the root ball, do so. Then you’ll want to remove the root ball, place it on a tarp, and gently move it to the new site.

If the plant was too small and young to require root pruning before camellia transplanting, just dig around it with a shovel. Remove its root ball and carry it to the new site. Dig a hole in the new site twice as big as the plant’s root ball.

Gently lower the root ball of the plant into the hole, keeping the soil level the same as it was in the original planting.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.