How To Transplant Spirea Bushes: Learn When To Move Spirea Bushes

White Flowered Spirea Bush Growing Through Black Fence
spireas trasnplant
(Image credit: Gelia)

Spirea is a popular flowering shrub hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Whether you have one in a container that you want to move to the garden, or you have an established plant that needs to move to a new spot, sometimes spirea bush transplanting is necessary. Keep reading to learn more spirea transplanting info.

Spirea Bush Transplanting

Spirea bush transplanting from a container is easy. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot in your garden. Dig a hole that’s a couple of inches (5 cm.) deeper than your container and twice as wide. It helps to set the container in the hole as you dig to get a feel for the size. Fill the bottom of the hole with a couple of inches (5 cm.) of compost. Slide the root ball out of its container and set it in the hole. Don’t shake out the excess dirt. Fill in the hole with a mix of soil and good compost. Water thoroughly and keep the plant well-watered for the next year. It may take as long as a year for your spirea to get completely established.

Moving a Spirea Shrub in the Garden

Moving a spirea shrub that’s established isn’t necessarily hard, but it can get unwieldy. Spirea shrubs can grow as tall as 10 feet (3 m.) and as wide as 20 feet (6 m.). If your shrub is especially big, you may have to prune back its branches just to get to the trunk. However, if you can reach the trunk, don’t prune it at all. You want to dig up the root ball, which is probably as wide as the drip line, or the outermost edge of the plant’s branches. Start digging down and in at the drip line until you free the root ball. Moving a spirea shrub should be done as quickly as possible so the plant doesn’t dry out. It may help to wrap the root ball in burlap to keep it moist and to stop the soil from falling away. Plant it in a hole prepared just like for container transplanting. If your foliage spread is wider than your root ball, prune it back a bit.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.