Time to uproot!

Back in January I asked for some advice on what I should do about an Austrian pine whose roots had escaped the pot and gotten into the soil below. I was sure it had done this because it really put on a lot of growth last year, and from past experience I knew that meant that roots had escaped.

The best advice I got came from Jeremy, who said "pines are tough... I would whack the roots under that pot without a second thought". So that's what I did.


There are a couple other plants here that I want to dig up too, the just-waking-up Caryopteris (blue mist shrub) held back with ugly twine:

That photo taken from a disconcerting angle shows that there are two of them here, and they are too large to be planted this close to the stairs. So out they come!

That's a better look at the pine.

And that's a look at the thick roots that got left behind when I yanked out the pot. Yikes.

Now, what will I do with these plants?

The pine goes into a big nursery pot until I figure out what I want to do with it -- which could take a couple of years:

The shrubs get planted... but where? I think one would look good in the prairie bed:

It's hard to judge where exactly to plant in this bed right now, as none of the grasses have emerged more than a few inches, so I'm trying to envision this bed in July...

I'm not happy with this spot, even though I've already dug the hole. Hmmm, you see that sad lavender plant in front?

It's several years old and is showing it. Although it has some viable foliage:

There's not much new growth:

So out it comes, leaving the perfect spot open for the Caryopteris:

I'm not sure how well older plants like these will handle being transplanted, so I won't be surprised if both of these don't make it. I'll be a bit disappointed, but it won't ruin my year.

The original bed is now clear (after yanking out some euonymous):

I wonder what I can plant here? Nothing is jumping out at me right now, but I have lots of plants in pots waiting for a spot in the ground...

As long as I'm digging up plants with escaped roots, let's take a look at this little scene:

It's a dappled willow (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki') that has obviously rooted into the ground -- pots don't just balance like that.

The large ceramic pot hold the remains of my Salix purpurea 'Canyon Blue' -- this plant looked so good here, but didn't get as much water as it wanted this past summer and died in the heat. My fault completely, and I'm disappointed... but time to move on.

I really liked the arctic blue willow here, and am not sure if the dappled willow is as effective... but since there's still plenty else to do in the garden now I'll think less and just do the obvious: put the plant into the now-vacant pot next to it. If I don't like it I can always move it later in the summer when things calm down.

I think the angle at which this plant was growing is interesting, so I'll put it into the ceramic pot at the same angle. Perhaps not ideal, but I'm not sure what else I should do:

If I had acted a month earlier before the new growth started I could have planted this upright. We'll see how it looks in a couple of months.

It doesn't look too bad right now, and will look even better when the dark foliage of the ninebark on the left finishes emerging. I think there's too much fine texture here though, with all of the smaller leaves. I'll most likely add something with larger leaves here, maybe under the willow. (Maybe I'll even move the willow out of here -- one of the advantages of pots!)

But I think that's the last of the plants that need to be moved this spring. Cross one more item off the too-long list of spring garden tasks!


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scottweberpdx  – (April 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM)  

You definitely did the right thing to move them...I think the Caryopteris should be fine...not so sure about the conifer.

Anonymous –   – (April 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM)  

You will be impressed with how well the Austrian Pine performs after the root loss. Alan's timing is perfect!

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