I recently asked you about my hibiscus that I dug up to replant in another part of my garden and I said I lost the rootball. I’m sorry, what I meant was that the dirt around the roots came away. I still have all the roots. I put it down inside the new hole and put the dirt that gave way back in the new hole. Do you think it will survive?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello again, Bill in California: I am glad to hear that the roots were still attached to your hibiscus and it was just the soil that did not remain intact. This is common when we transplant something in the garden that has not been established. It is perfectly fine that the soil did not come with the root ball as long as you replaced the soil in the new home. Hopefully the new hole was just as deep as the previous one and just as wide if not wider. The roots should have been spread out in order to prevent any circular growth habit that could lead to girdling. The soil level should be flush with the surrounding landscape and a thin layer of mulch is always helpful in terms of retaining moisture. This will need to be treated like a new planting for the next year. It will require additional moisture during dry periods. As a general rule new plantings should be watered twice per week for the first month and then as needed depending on Mother Nature. It is best to let the hibiscus become established with the nutrients that are present in the soil as opposed to feeding the plant and letting it think that it will always have these nutrients available. It is better for the long-term health of the plant to avoid fertilizing for the first growing season.