How and when to transplant rabbit brush

How and when do I transplant rabbit brush? This variety is a lighter green plant than the native rabbit brush around here.

The best time in general to transplant any woody plant is late winter or early spring before new growth starts for the year. Over here that’s mid to late March and I’d guess it’d be a couple weeks later for you.

Understand that there’s never any guarantee of success when transplanting, but there are several “rules” to transplanting that will improve your chances. Waiting until early spring to move the plant is the first one.  The second “rule” is to not get greedy. Don’t go for the great big plant. Moving a smaller plant improves your chances dramatically.

When you’re ready to transplant, first dig the hole that the plant will be moved into so you can just dig up the plant and immediately get it back into the ground. Next, dig up the plant you’re moving. You want to dig as large of a soil ball around the plant as you can handle. Remember you’ll have to pick up that thing up and carry it over to the new hole. That’s the third “rule;” the bigger the rootball, the better your chances of success.

The fourth “rule” is to keep the rootball intact, don’t let it crack or break apart. It’s helpful to wrap the soil ball with burlap or an old sheet to help support it. Keeping it intact preserves as many of the critical small feeder roots as possible.

Get it planted in the new hole and water it in well. After that initial watering has soaked in, give it a second soaking with a solution of Fertilome Root Stimulator. It has a rooting hormone that helps stimulate the formation of new roots and that’s the name of the game at that point.

There’s actually quite a bit of variation in the foliage color of rabbit brush. There’s even a separate species called rubber rabbit brush that has green foliage.

I am looking for an Arapaho red crape tree to put in my yard and wanted to know if you or anyone in town has them. I really want to pick it up locally.

As anyone who’s lived in the South can tell you, crape myrtle is a wonderful plant. They thrive in the summer heat and their bright flowers all summer are hard to beat. They also have striking smooth ornamental bark that is often mottled cream and mahogany. However, there is one word of caution I would offer. Most crape myrtle (including ‘Arapaho’) are not considered winter hardy here. They are a zone 7 plant, hardy to about 5 degrees above zero. We have winters where they would survive, but we certainly get winters that would get colder than that.

There are three varieties that have been introduced by the National Arboretum that are hardier. ‘Pecos,’ ‘Zuni’ and ‘Acoma’ are zone 6 plants and are supposedly hardy to minus 5 degrees. I have had ‘Zuni’ in my yard for 7 or 8 years now but they freeze down to the ground every year and resprout from there. I treat them kind of like a “woody perennial” where I cut them back every spring. They get up to about 3 feet tall and bloom mid to late summer. I don’t get the beautiful bark or the small tree form but those flowers are worth it. Don’t know if that is something that would work for you.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy