Transplanting/moving perennials & bulbs

Asked June 20, 2019, 11:16 AM EDT

What time of year is optimal for moving oriental poppies, native shooting stars and alliums. Are there times other than optimal to move them that would likely be successful?

Hennepin County Minnesota

3 Responses

The oriental poppies don't like to be moved. They have long taproots, so your chances of success for moving large plants at any time of year are not good. If you insist on moving them, wait until the foliage dies back in midsummer. Move as much of the root as possible and water well. Since poppies seed and naturalize so readily, consider moving smaller daughter plants in the fall or early spring.

Alliums grow from a bulb; you can transplant the bulb after the plant dies down in mid summer. You can also wait until fall, but be sure to mark the location of the bulb - it may no longer be visible above ground.

Shooting stars can be divided in early spring. They die back in summer, so you won't be able to find them in the fall.

The foliage on the shooting stars has largely died back but is still visible. The seed heads are visible, Is it advisable to transplant them now?

The best time to transplant the shooting star is spring. If you have to do it now, go ahead, but "baby" the plant with careful watering when the soil is dry and up until the ground freezes this fall. The plant has already put energy into creating seed so it doesn't matter if you transplant now or wait until the seed heads are empty.